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Scientist Lee Plans Legal Strategy

February 23, 2000

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ Former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Wen Ho Lee expects to show during his trial that the nuclear weapons secrets he allegedly mishandled were available to the public.

A legal filing Tuesday provided a glimpse of Lee’s trial strategy as the latest installment in an argument over whether Lee should be required to reveal to prosecutors all of the classified information he plans to use in his defense.

``Lee expects to establish at trial ... that the computer codes and other information in the computer files and on the tapes, far from being carefully protected ‘crown jewels,’ as the government contends, were readily available in open literature, much of it published with the knowledge and approval of the national laboratories and the federal government,″ said the document filed in federal court.

Officials at the U.S. Attorney’s office had not reviewed the documents and would not comment, spokeswoman Patricia Chavez said Wednesday.

Lee, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Taiwan, is charged with 59 counts involving security breaches _ but not espionage. His trial is set for Nov. 6. He could get life in prison if convicted.

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

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