ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, AP
A judge ordered the government to produce documents to help determine whether fired Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee was targeted in the investigation of alleged mishandling of secrets because of his race.
The Taiwan-born Lee is waiting to learning if the government will appeal the judge’s order that he be freed on US$ 1 million bail.
Lee, 60, has been jailed since his arrest Dec. 10 on 59 counts alleging he transferred restricted data about nuclear weapons to unsecure computers and tape at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
If it doesn’t appeal and block the bail order, the government has until noon Friday to complete its search of Lee’s home and finalize conditions for his release. A final order was expected Wednesday.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James Parker ordered the government to disclose documents that could help him determine whether Lee was a target of selective prosecution and ethnic profiling.
The documents have been sought by the defense, which alleges Lee was singled out because he is Chinese-American.
The government was given until Sept. 15 to produce reports and memoranda supporting findings by the Department of Energy’s Task Force on Racial Profiling and training videotapes on counterintelligence created by the Energy Department.
The judge ordered the government to turn over a classified report on computer security violations at the U.S. State Department.
“There has been a pattern of computer security violations that have gone unprosecuted by the Justice Department,” said Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists.
Parker’s order also includes any classified congressional committee testimony by various federal officials that relates to the Lee case, and records of statements by former DOE counterintelligence chief Notra Trulock suggesting that any investigation of Chinese espionage should focus on ethnic Chinese.
Prosecutors opposed disclosure, saying it was irrelevant since Lee was not a target of selective prosecution. Parker said the material is for his own information, not necessarily the defense’s, as he considers a defense motion for disclosure.
The government might appeal the bail release order, said Assistant U.S. Attorney George Stamboulidis. He said one area of concern is the unrestricted communication allowed between Lee and his wife, Sylvia, in their home.