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Security Established in Lee Trial

February 10, 2000

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ Strict security procedures have been established by lawyers involved in the trial of former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Wen Ho Lee, who is accused of mishandling classified information.

The order issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge John Conway _ and agreed to by both the prosecution and the defense _ establishes secure work areas in Albuquerque, where the courthouse is located, and at Los Alamos for Lee and his lawyers to discuss classified materials at issue in the case.

Lee is accused of downloading classified information onto unsecured computers and onto several computer tapes _ seven of which prosecutors contend may still exist. Lee has said they were destroyed.

He is charged with breaching lab security, but not with espionage. He faces 59 counts and could get life in prison if convicted. He has appealed a ruling that he be held without bail pending trial, which may be a year away.

Conway’s order says no classified materials used in the trial are to be copied or removed from secured areas, and it says only secured computers may be used.

Prosecutors contend Lee, 60, stole enough nuclear secrets to build a functional thermonuclear weapon. They have called the information downloaded by Lee the ``crown jewels″ of American science.

But in a court brief filed last week, the defense contended the taped information was far from ``top secret.″ They said, instead, the tapes contained information with the lesser classification of secret or confidential-restricted.

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