- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 25, 2002

Federal prosecutors yesterday asked a federal judge to delay the pending trial of accused spy Brian P. Regan, agreeing with defense attorneys that a June date should be postponed.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty, in papers filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, said that while the government can be ready for trial May 29, it supported a request by defense attorney Nina J. Ginsberg to delay the proceedings adding that it was offered "in good faith."

Ms. Ginsberg, the court-appointed attorney for the retired Air Force sergeant, told U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee the defense could not be ready for a capital case without at least five months to examine documents and other evidence.

Judge Lee had set a June 3 date for the trial during a hearing Monday. He has yet to rule on the delay requests.

Mr. Regan, 39, who faces the death penalty if convicted, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges that accuse him of attempting to sell U.S. secrets to Iraq, Libya and China for a $13 million fee. He had been a government contractor at the highly secret National Reconnaissance Office.

Mr. McNulty, in yesterday's filing, said it would take at least another 45 days or until June 5 to obtain security clearances to allow defense specialists to examine classified documents to be offered during trial.

He also said that because the defense will argue the appropriateness of the death penalty, it could require additional time for both sides to prepare.

"The government, of course, is confident that its death penalty notice, and the applicability of the death penalty to a case of this nature, is entirely consistent with the law," he wrote.

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