Wen Ho Lee to remain jailed pending appeals court review

Wen Ho Lee to remain jailed pending appeals court review

By Tony Lee Orr

GCN Staff

SEPT. 6'Wen Ho Lee, the former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist charged with mishandling nuclear secrets, will remain jailed pending a review of his case by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

U.S. District Judge James A. Parker had ruled that Lee would be released on $1 million bail, but the Justice Department appealed the ruling to the higher court, which ordered Lee to stay in jail until it issues a decision.

Lee is charged with 59 felony counts of violating federal espionage law and the Atomic Energy Act by mishandling classified information while working at the New Mexico lab's supersecret Division X [see story at www.gcn.com/vol19_no1/news/1133-1.html]

Lee was fired last year from the lab and has been jailed for eight months. He allegedly copied nuclear data from the lab's classified computer system to an unsecure desktop computer and to portable tapes. The location of seven unaccounted-for tapes remained at issue during the latest bail hearing.

In his ruling, Parker appeared to doubt the strength of the government's case, noting that the alleged security breaches seem less troubling than Justice attorneys initially indicated.

'Dr. Lee's actions may not have been as surreptitious, clandestine and secretive as the government initially indicated,' Parker wrote in his 17-page opinion.

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