Friday, June 12, 2009

Ex-Pentagon official indicted in China spy case


WASHINGTON (AFP) — A federal grand jury indicted a former Pentagon official who had a "top secret" security clearance on charges of spying for China and lying to cover up his actions, the Justice Department has said.

Retired air force Lieutenant Colonel James Wilbur Fondren, a deputy director of the US Pacific Command's Washington Liaison Office, was arrested in mid-May and charged with conspiracy to pass classified information to an agent of China.

The charges announced Thursday include one count of conspiracy to communicate classified information to a foreign government agent and act as an illegal foreign agent; four counts of unlawfully communicating classified information to a foreign government agent; and three counts of lying to FBI agents.

If convicted on all charges, Fondren, 62, faces up to 60 years in prison, the Justice Department said in a statement.


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