- DENVER (Reuters) - A former
U.S. government scientist charged with illegally copying the "crown
jewels" of U.S. nuclear weapons secrets has a history of contact with
foreign spies, the FBI said in a court filing on Friday.
- FBI agent Robert Messemer said in secret testimony late
last year that Wen Ho Lee had a "continuing association" with
known or suspected intelligence officers from foreign countries.
- Messemer said he was ready to discuss "documented
instances of where Dr. Lee has repeatedly inserted himself into highly
questionable circumstances." He did not elaborate, but did say other
evidence in FBI files indicated that Lee passed documents for which foreign
dissemination was prohibited.
- Messemer did not reveal the nature of the documents involved.
The government has previously said it had no evidence that Lee was a spy.
- But Messemer did acknowledge that Lee helped the FBI
in 1983 in an investigation of another government scientist suspected of
aiding foreign intelligence agents, the court papers showed. Messemer
testified Dec. 29 in the chambers of U.S. District Judge James Parker in
Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- Prosecutors filed Messemer's statements at the 10th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver as part of their efforts to thwart attempts
by Lee's attorneys to win bail for him.
- Lee was indicted in December for allegedly copying classified
material in 1993, 1994 and 1997 with the intention of aiding an unspecified
- Parker ordered Lee jailed after he was charged two months
ago, fearing he would attempt espionage.
- Lee's attorneys could not be reached for comment on the
court filing, but have disputed government claims and have said Lee was
a victim of ethnic stereotyping. Lee is a U.S. citizen who was born in
- Lee, 60, worked for 20 years at the Los Alamos National
Laboratory, a nuclear weapons research and development facility in New
- Lee's attorneys dispute that the information Lee allegedly
copied could be considered the "crown jewels" of U.S. nuclear
- In written arguments recently, they said the information
was classified variously as "secret" and "confidential,"
rather than "top secret," the classification for the most critical
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