Federal Prosecutors Want Technology Exporting Charges Dropped
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Prosecutors who charged three men with illegally exporting high-technology equipment to Czechoslovakia for possible military use want a federal judge to dismiss the charges.
″We analyzed the case and made a determination that it was in the best interest of all concerned that they be dismissed,″ Assistant U.S. Attorney William Fahey said Tuesday.
He declined further comment on the motion before U.S. District Judge Richard Gadbois Jr., which seeks to drop charges of conspiracy, illegal export of high-technology equipment and making false statements to government officials.
The charges were filed against two California men, Josef Kubicek, 50, of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Martin Stastny, 41, of San Pedro, and a Czech trade organization official, Josef Chlumsky.
″I applaud the government for dismissing charges that should not have been filed in the first place,″ said attorney Victor Kenton, representing Stastny.
A federal grand jury indicted the defendants last June. At that time, Fahey said they were thought to have exported $600,000 worth of ″highly sophisticated technology (that) could be used to manufacture integrated computer systems with military applications.″
The prosecutor also said the merchandise was shipped from the United States to Austria and then to Czechoslovakia.
Fahey had said that the Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement and the Customs Service concluded after a two-year investigation that the defendants had lied to federal officials to conceal the ″true nature of the equipment and its real destination.″
Mark Beck, the attorney representing Kubicek, said Tuesday that the merchandise was ″electronic components of a sophisticated variety.″
The prosecution’s motion to dismiss the charges came after the defense made motions for dismissal, Beck said.
The defense motions said the prosecution had improperly sealed earlier grand jury charges against the three men to sidestep the five-year statute of limitations on the charges.
Beck said the three men were originally indicted in December, 1983, for actions alleged to have occurred in December 1979. That indictment was sealed until last June. It was then unsealed along with a second series of indictments that covered both the original allegations and later ones, the attorney said.
Beck’s motion for dismissal also alleged ″government misconduct,″ but the attorney said he could say nothing more about it because of a court order based on a federal law preventing comment by either side on specifics of cases involving national security.
Kenton said part of the basis for his dismissal motion was that ″there were (U.S.) government agencies that were in some manner involved (in the shipment) that were acting apparently without the knowledge of the Department of Commerce.″
The federal Classified Information Procedures Act was cited by Kenton in declining further comment, and by Fahey in declining to address the defense claim of government misconduct.
Kubicek is a developer and owner of a motorcycle sales agency, and Stastny is a freight forwarder, according to their attorneys. Beck said Chlumsky was indicted in absentia and, to his knowledge, has not been in the United States in recent years.