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FBI begins search of Wen Ho Lee's home

Lee
Lee  

LOS ALAMOS, New Mexico (CNN) -- FBI agents began what they said could be a day-long search Thursday of the home of Wen Ho Lee, the fired nuclear scientist accused of transferring nuclear weapons data to insecure computers.

The search began approximately 9:30 a.m.

FBI spokesman Doug Beldon would not say what agents were looking for but Lee's defense attorneys have said they FBI is still trying to find seven tapes which contain nuclear weapons data. Lee's attorneys have said the tapes were destroyed.

Lee faces a court hearing Friday on whether he will be granted bail. The government was given until noon Friday to complete its search of Lee's home and finalize conditions for his release on $1 million bail.

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Prosecutors have said they are seek permission to file an appeal in an attempt to block Lee's release.

Lee, 60, has been jailed since December 10 on 59 counts accusing him of transferring restricted data to unsecure computers and tapes at the Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory.

Prosecutors have said they continue to be uneasy about allowing Lee out of jail, fearing, they said, that he might pass communications through his wife to outside parties.

Lee's attorneys have said he is the victim of selective prosecution and that the government's fears have no basis.

A neighbor who will act as a "third party custodian" to help oversee the restrictions placed on Lee said if he is released there will likely be a small welcome home party Friday.

The neighbor, Don Marshal, told reporters, "We'll see him because the judge's preliminary draft order says that he calls in twice a day. Either my wife or myself has to be there to tell pretrial services that he is actually in his house."



RELATED STORIES:
Judge orders bail for Wen Ho Lee, but U.S prosecutors likely to appeal
August 29, 2000
Hearing underway on details of Wen Ho Lee's release
August 25, 2000
Judge urges mediation in Los Alamos scientist case, sources say
August 25, 2000
Terms of Wen Ho Lee's release to be discussed Tuesday
August 24, 2000
Judge needs more time to decide on release of Los Alamos scientist
August 18, 2000
Scientist charged in nuclear secrets case may have been job-hunting instead
July 7, 2000
Wen Ho Lee indicted, arrested in Los Alamos case
December 10, 1999

RELATED SITES:
U.S. Department of Justice
Los Alamos National Laboratory


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