Chinese Man accused of spying appears in New Orleans court
by Bill Walsh, The Times-Picayune
Thursday February 14, 2008, 10:28 AM
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The New Orleans man accused by the government of being at the center of a Chinese spy ring was held in custody Thursday while a federal judge agreed to let his codefendant post $100,000 bond.
Tai Shen Kuo made only a brief appearance in U.S. District Court in order to meet for the first time with an attorney. Kuo has not been charged, but the Department of Justice has alleged that he spied for two years for the Chinese government and obtained classified information about U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan.
Judge John Anderson order Kuo back in court Friday for a detention hearing, but given the espionage allegations against him which carry a life sentence, he is not expected to be released.
Anderson, however, agreed to release from custody Gregg Bergersen, a Department of Defense employee accused of passing the secret documents to Kuo. In an FBI affidavit unsealed Tuesday, the government said Bergersen sold information about U.S. weapons sales but didn't know Kuo was a spy. Bergersen has also not been charged, but the government alleges that he violated a federal law against giving classified material to unauthorized people, a charge that carries up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This is a confusing story. The Chinese man, Kuo, is a Taiwanese-American, longtime resident and restauranteer in New Orleans area, who allegedly sold info about U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan to the Chinese. The man who sold him the information supposedly did not know he was a spy! and is not being charged.
The Chinese woman, Kang, also allegedly involved in the Chinese spy ring, has had her trial venue changed to Virginia.