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Trial of US engineer accused of leaking secrets to China opens in California

[JURIST] The US District Court for the Central District of California [official website] began jury selection Tuesday in the espionage trial of Chi Mak [CI Centre backgrounder], a Chinese-American engineer charged with conspiring to smuggle sensitive naval intelligence data to China [JURIST news archive]. The US government indicted [text, PDF] Mak in November 2005 for both acting as, and failing to register as, an agent of a foreign government in violation of 18 USC § 951 [text]. Mak allegedly stole computer disks from his employer, defense contractor Power Paragon [corporate website], copied sensitive information and attempted to send it to the Chinese government through an intermediary before his arrest at Los Angeles International Airport in October 2005.

US District Judge Cormac J. Carney [profile] has suggested that the trial may last between four and six weeks with opening statements scheduled to occur near the end of the week. Mak's wife Rebecca Laiwah Chiu and his brother, Tai Wang Mak, were also both indicted in the probe and are now awaiting trial. AP has more.

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