Tuesday, October 20, 2009

US scientist charged with spying



An American scientist who worked for the US defence department and the space agency Nasa has been charged with attempted espionage, officials say.

Stewart David Nozette tried to give classified information to a person whom he believed was an Israeli intelligence officer, the justice department said.

The 52-year-old, who once had top security clearance, was arrested on Monday by FBI agents, it added.

The complaint does not allege Israel or anyone acting for it violated US law.

Mr Nozette, who is expected to appear in court in Washington on Tuesday, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

"The conduct alleged in this complaint is serious and should serve as a warning to anyone who would consider compromising our nation's secrets for profit," said US Assistant Attorney General David Kris. According to an affidavit, Mr Nozette worked at the White House on the National Space Council from 1989 to 1990, where he developed a radar experiment that purportedly discovered water on the Moon.


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