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Judge Removes Self From Lee Case

June 5, 2000

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ The judge who was to preside over the trial of a scientist charged with breaching security at Los Alamos National Laboratory withdrew from the case Monday.

Chief U.S. Judge John Edwards Conway, 66, said he plans to take ``senior status″ at the court, meaning a reduced caseload.

In withdrawing from the case, Conway said he did not relish the expected months-long commitment that it would demand.

``I’ve been there and done that,″ said Conway, who canceled the Nov. 6 trial date for Wen Ho Lee. Hearings scheduled Wednesday and next week also were canceled.

Court Clerk Robert March said the case has been reassigned to U.S. District Judge James A. Parker.

Lee, 60, is charged with 59 counts involving the transfer of restricted data from secure to unsecure computers and computer tapes at Los Alamos National Laboratory. If convicted, Lee, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Taiwan, could face life in prison.

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