- The Washington Times - Friday, July 7, 2000

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. Federal prosecutors say a scientist accused of security breaches at one of the nation's foremost nuclear labs once sought employment in seven other countries and had contact with a Chinese nuclear institution.

In a document released Thursday, prosecutors said former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Wen Ho Lee sought jobs in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and Taiwan in 1993, "at or about the time of the first offenses charged."

The document also says testimony at Mr. Lee's detention hearing in December "established that the defendant had made contact with representatives of the People's Republic of China's Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics, which has been involved in the design and computational simulation of nuclear weapons."

A federal judge last month ordered prosecutors to list by Wednesday any nation that might be included in their accusations. Prosecutors said in the filing that they reserved the right to name other nations in the future.

The 60-year-old scientist, who is accused of transferring restricted data from secure to unsecure computers and computer tapes, could face life in prison if convicted.

For that to happen, the government must prove Mr. Lee downloaded files with intent to harm the United States and to secure an advantage for a foreign nation. Prosecutors want to argue to the jury that Mr. Lee can be found guilty even if he had not decided on a particular foreign nation.

The FBI has said that when Mr. Lee was listed among scientists targeted for potential layoffs in 1993 and 1994, he sought employment in his native Taiwan as well as in Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and Germany.

Mr. Lee's daughter, Alberta, has said her father also applied at several U.S. companies which she said prosecutors "tend to overlook."

Ultimately, Mr. Lee, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was never laid off, so the issue was moot, said his attorney, John Cline.

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