Engineer Gets 24 Years in China Spy Case

Lawyer calls case 'politically transparent' and vows to appeal
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2008 8:10 PM CDT
Chi Mak's defense attorneys speak to reporters after his May, 2007 conviction. After getting slapped with a 24-year prison sentence today, Mak announced he will file an appeal.   (AP Photo/Mark Avery)
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(Newser) – A judge sentenced Chinese-born engineer Chi Mak to 24 years in prison today for conspiring to send US military data to China, the Los Angeles Times reports. A US assistant attorney argued that Mak, 67, had violated US law even though the data on Navy submarines was not classified. Mak, a naturalized US citizen, proclaimed his love for America and vowed to appeal, Bloomberg reports.

"I never intended to violate any law at all," Mak said. "I love this country." Mak's attorney called the case "politically transparent," and added that "the government waved the flag of patriotism and wanted to use Mr. Mak as a scapegoat." Mak's wife, brother, and two other relatives have already pleaded guilty in the case.