US judge orders scientist be kept in prison for spy for Israel
A U.S. judge ordered that a former government scientist be kept in prison until his trial for allegedly trying to pass U.S. secrets to Israel.
A U.S. judge ordered on Thursday that a former government scientist be kept in prison until his trial for trying to pass U.S. secrets to Israel in what was really an FBI undercover sting operation.
Stewart Nozette, 52 and from Chevy Chase, Maryland, has been charged with attempting to deliver classified defense information to an individual he thought was an Israeli intelligence officer but in reality was an FBI employee.
U.S. prosecutors have accused Nozette of seeking roughly $2 million and an Israeli passport in exchange for the classified material. He also had stashed in a hotel suite toilet $10,000 he received just before he was arrested at the posh Mayflower Hotel in Washington, according to court papers.
FBI agents also found three computer drives, eight videotapes, $30,000 in savings bonds and 55 gold Kruggerrand coins worth about $50,000 in a safe deposit box Nozette had rented at a California bank, a court document said.
Prosecutors had warned he was a flight risk if released ahead of his trial, which his defense attorney had denied. U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson sided with the government.
Nozette worked at various government agencies, including the Energy Department, Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Earlier this year he pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and tax evasion.
If convicted on the espionage charges, he faces life in prison. The Justice Department has said the government of Israel or anyone acting on its behalf was not involved in the case.
Reuters Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Ekim 2009, 09:10