Government Vows To Appeal Lee's Bail


Wednesday, August 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — As a Friday homecoming approached for Wen Ho Lee, the fired Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist was waiting to hear whether the government would appeal his bail order, delaying his release.

The government has until noon Friday to complete its search of Lee's home and finalize conditions for his release on $1 million bail. Lee, 60, has been jailed since his arrest Dec. 10 on 59 counts alleging he transferred restricted data to unsecure computers and tape at laboratory.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James Parker ordered the government to disclose documents that could help him determine whether Lee was the subject of selective prosecution and ethnic profiling. The ruling comes in response to defense allegations that 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, training videotapes on counterintelligence created by the Energy Department and several other documents sought by the defense.

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 the defense motion for disclosure.

The court recessed to give the two sides time to work out conditions of release, and a final order was expected Wednesday.

Assistant U.S. attorney George Stamboulidis said the government may appeal the release order. He said one area of concern: the unrestricted communication allowed between Lee and his wife, Sylvia, in their home.

``Here, national security is at stake, your honor,'' Stamboulidis said, complaining Tuesday that the judge's proposed conditions were not strict enough to protect government secrets.

Stamboulidis asked for a seven-day stay to allow his office to seek advice from the Justice Department's solicitor general. Parker refused, and gave Stamboulidis until noon Friday to get the solicitor general's approval of Lee's release.

While Tuesday's discussions mainly concerned the conditions that would be placed on Lee's release, government officials were reserving the right in their appeal to contest the release itself, Stamboulidis said.

Parker's proposed release conditions included limits on communication, travel, home visits and required removal of all electronic communication devices except for one telephone line from Lee's home. Lee would have to remain under electronic monitoring except when being driven by his lawyers to court or the lab to work on his defense. His mail also would be inspected.

Defense attorney John Cline said conditions were unnecessary but that the defense would agree in some cases.

The defense agreed to allow language prohibiting Sylvia Lee from carrying messages from Lee to anyone except his lawyers and the couple's neighbors Don and Jean Marshall. The Marshalls, who both have top-security clearances in their work at the lab, are to serve as Lee's custodians during his release.

``I'm just glad he's getting out,'' said Lee's daughter, Alberta, who was at the hearing Tuesday. ``Any conditions are fine.''

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On the Net:

Supporters of Lee: http://www.wenholee.org

Department of Justice: http://www.usdoj.gov

Los Alamos National Laboratory: http://www.lanl.gov/worldview