FBI Says Ex-Nuke Scientist
Lee Had Spy Contacts

DENVER (Reuters) - A former U.S. government scientist charged with illegally copying the "crown jewels" of U.S. nuclear weapons secrets has a history of contact with foreign spies, the FBI said in a court filing on Friday.
FBI agent Robert Messemer said in secret testimony late last year that Wen Ho Lee had a "continuing association" with known or suspected intelligence officers from foreign countries.
Messemer said he was ready to discuss "documented instances of where Dr. Lee has repeatedly inserted himself into highly questionable circumstances." He did not elaborate, but did say other evidence in FBI files indicated that Lee passed documents for which foreign dissemination was prohibited.
Messemer did not reveal the nature of the documents involved. The government has previously said it had no evidence that Lee was a spy.
But Messemer did acknowledge that Lee helped the FBI in 1983 in an investigation of another government scientist suspected of aiding foreign intelligence agents, the court papers showed. Messemer testified Dec. 29 in the chambers of U.S. District Judge James Parker in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Prosecutors filed Messemer's statements at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver as part of their efforts to thwart attempts by Lee's attorneys to win bail for him.
Lee was indicted in December for allegedly copying classified material in 1993, 1994 and 1997 with the intention of aiding an unspecified foreign nation.
Parker ordered Lee jailed after he was charged two months ago, fearing he would attempt espionage.
Lee's attorneys could not be reached for comment on the court filing, but have disputed government claims and have said Lee was a victim of ethnic stereotyping. Lee is a U.S. citizen who was born in Taiwan.
Lee, 60, worked for 20 years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a nuclear weapons research and development facility in New Mexico.
Lee's attorneys dispute that the information Lee allegedly copied could be considered the "crown jewels" of U.S. nuclear weapons secrets.
In written arguments recently, they said the information was classified variously as "secret" and "confidential," rather than "top secret," the classification for the most critical files.
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