Warrant Issued After Businessman Fails to Appear
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A businessman accused of illegally exporting nuclear triggering devices to Israel failed to appear in court Wednesday for a pretrial hearing, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
Richard Kelly Smyth, 55, owner of a Huntington Beach electronics firm, was to appear in U.S. District Judge Pamela Ann Rymer’s courtroom Wednesday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Fahey said.
Alan Croll, Smyth’s attorney, was scheduled to present arguments on a motion to dismiss the indictment, and prosecution motions also were to be heard, Fahey said.
The no-bail warrant was issued after Smyth did not show up, he said. Croll had not contacted him about Smyth’s whereabouts, Fahey said.
He said statements made in court indicated that Smyth’s last contact with his attorney was Friday.
″It is true he was not there today,″ Croll said. He refused to discuss where Smyth was, citing the confidential nature of the attorney-client relationship.
Croll refused to say if he was surprised by his client’s absence. He said he asked the judge to hold the bench warrant for a short time, which she agreed to do.
He did not take exception to her decision to issue the warrant after the delay, he said.
Croll refused to say if Smyth would be at the trial, scheduled for Tuesday.
Smyth is accused in a 30-count indictment of taking orders for 810 Krytron switches from Heli Trading Co. in Tel Aviv and exporting them to Israel without proper U.S. State Department licensing.
Smyth has denied any wrongdoing, stating he was unaware the electronic devices needed a special export license.
The switches can be used as nuclear triggering devices as well as in oil drilling and photocopying machines.