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CBS Morning News
August 30, 2000

Wen Ho Lee Will Spend a Few More Days In Jail


Los Alamos nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee will have to spend at least a few more days in jail. This follows a court hearing on Tuesday. Vince Gonzales reports.


Wen Ho Lee sat quietly in a federal courtroom as prosecutors repeatedly told a judge that Lee was a threat to national security and should not be released even to tight house arrest. But the judge says he will order Lee freed on Friday, something Lee's lawyers said is overdue.

Mr. MARK HOLSCHER (Defense Attorney): If Judge Parker had been provided a complete record in December, we believe that Dr. Lee would not have spent the last eight months in solitary confinement.

GONZALES: The judge decided to send Lee home after FBI agents admitted giving the court exaggerated and erroneous information last year. And while the Department of Energy accused Lee with providing America's most valuable nuclear secrets to China, critics point out he was never officially charged with espionage, only with mishandling sensitive data, downloading it from secure computer systems.

Mr. STEVEN AFTERGOOD (Federation of American Scientists): There's no espionage case and there's no indication of damage to national security whatsoever. The only damage that has resulted is damage to the credibility of the justice system.

GONZALES: Prosecutors could still appeal Lee's release, keeping him in jail until a higher court rules or even until his trial here in November. Vince Gonzales, CBS News, Albuquerque.

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