China’s Huawei Technologies has pleaded not guilty in a New York federal court to new charges in a 2018 case against the company.
The latest indictment against the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker accused the firm of conspiring to steal trade secrets from six US technology companies for two decades, lying about its business in North Korea and helping Iran to track protesters during anti-government demonstrations that took place in the country during 2009.
The US government had previously charged Huawei with bank fraud and violating sanctions against Iran by using a suspected front company called Skycom Tech Co to obtain US goods and move money using the international banking system. The company also pleaded not guilty to those charges last year.
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In the latest case against Huawei, a US lawyer for the firm named Thomas Green entered a not guilty plea on behalf of the company and three subsidiaries, including its US-based research arm Futurewei Technologies Inc, at an arraignment in the US District Court in Brooklyn.
Huawei’s CFO and daughter of the company’s CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei, Meng Wanzhou is currently fighting extradition from Canada in connection with the original indictment in the case. She is accused of misrepresenting the company’s relationship with Skycom to the global bank HSBC, though she has said that she is innocent.
According to Huawei, the new charges against the firm are clearly aimed at damaging the company’s reputation for competitive reasons.
Last year, Reuters reported that an internal probe by HSBC helped lead to the original US charges against Huawei and its CFO. In a letter to the court sent in February, Huawei’s lawyers said that they are entitled to see the documents from HSBC’s investigation. The firm claims that US prosecutors overlooked violations of sanctions against Iran by HSBC in exchange for cooperation with its investigation into Huawei.
During the hearing in Brooklyn, Assistant US Attorney Alexander Solomon said that prosecutors would work with the company to respond to the request to see HSBC’s documents.
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