US: Former CIA officer charged with spying for China

A former officer with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been charged in Honolulu with for after being arrested last week following an undercover operation, according to documents unsealed on Monday.

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The 67-year-old man, who worked for the CIA from 1982 to 1989, has been accused of conspiring to gather and communicate national defense information for a foreign nation and faces life in prison if found guilty. He makes his first court appearance on Tuesday.
 
An affidavit from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), for which the man also worked from 2004 as a contract linguist, accuses him of passing on government secrets to Chinese intelligence officers in Hong Kong over three days in March 2001. Those secrets, for which he allegedly received $50,000 (€42,000), included information on the CIA’s methods of secure communication and its espionage techniques, the affidavit says.
 
Prosecutors say the man continued with his espionage activities at the FBI as well, allegedly copying documents related to missiles and weapon system technology research.
 
Not infrequent
 
At a meeting with an undercover officer posing as a Chinese intelligence officer last week, he is reported to have said that he wanted to see the “motherland” succeed and that he wanted to help China more after the coronavirus pandemic was over.
 
“The trail of Chinese espionage is long and, sadly, strewn with former American intelligence officers who betrayed their colleagues, their country and its liberal democratic values to support an authoritarian communist regime,” Assistant Attorney John Demers, the Justice Department’s top national security official, said in a statement.
 
In November of last year, an ex-CIA employee was sentenced to 19 years in prison for spying for China. It was the third such case in around a year.
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