HomeWorld NewsEx-CIA officer accused of spying for China pleads guilty in Honolulu courtroom...

Ex-CIA officer accused of spying for China pleads guilty in Honolulu courtroom – vopbuzz

Ex CIA officer accused of spying for China pleads guilty in.cms

HONOLULU: Old CIA officer and is accused of being a contract linguist for the FBI spying for china He pleaded guilty Friday in a federal courtroom in Honolulu for at least a decade.
Alexander Yuk Ching MaThe 72-year-old has been in custody since his arrest in August 2020. The US Department of Justice said in its court filing that it had collected “a war chest’s worth of damning evidence” against him, including an hour-long video of Ma and another former relative. CIA officer – was providing classified information to intelligence officers at China’s Ministry of State Security in 2001.
Prosecutors said the video showed Ma counting the $50,000 he received from Chinese agents for his services.
Prosecutors said he accepted thousands of dollars in cash in exchange for past espionage activities during an operation and told an undercover FBI agent posing as a Chinese intelligence officer that he wanted to see the “motherland” succeed.
The secrets he is accused of providing include information about CIA resources and assets, international operations, secure communications practices and operational tradecraft, charging documents said.
As part of a deal with prosecutors, Ma pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of conspiring to collect or transmit national defense information to a foreign government. The agreement stipulates a 10-year prison sentence, but the judge will have the final say on Ma’s sentence, which will be given on September 11. Without a deal, Ma faces life imprisonment.
Ma was born in Hong Kong, moved to Honolulu in 1968, and became a U.S. citizen in 1975. He joined the CIA in 1982, was assigned overseas the following year, and resigned in 1989. According to the court, he had top-secret security clearance. documents.
Ma lived and worked in Shanghai, China, before returning to Hawaii in 2001. He was hired as a contract linguist at the FBI’s Honolulu field office in 2004, and prosecutors say he regularly copied, photographed and stole classified information for the next six years. documents. He frequently took them on trips to China, returning with thousands of dollars in cash and expensive gifts such as a new set of golf clubs, prosecutors said.
In court on Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson declared that Ma’s hiring as a part-time contract linguist was a “trick” to monitor his contact with Chinese intelligence officers.
The plea agreement stated that the FBI was aware of Ma’s ties to intelligence officers and “conceptually decided to recruit the defendant to work at an off-site FBI location in Honolulu.”
Sorenson said that in 2006, when Ma was living in Hawaii, Chinese intelligence officers sent him photos of people of interest, and Ma contacted the conspiring relative and persuaded him to reveal at least two identities.
When pleading guilty, Ma said everything Sorenson said was true. Ma said he signed non-disclosure agreements that he knew would apply even after he left the CIA, and that he knew the information he provided to Chinese intelligence officials could harm the United States or help a foreign country.
In 2021, Ma’s former defense attorney told the judge that he believed Ma was suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and had trouble remembering things.
In a defense motion, it was stated that Ma’s older brother had Alzheimer’s disease 10 years ago and was completely disabled due to this disease. The brother was named as an accomplice in the indictment against Ma, but prosecutors did not charge him because of his incompetence due to Alzheimer’s, the motion said.
Sorenson said in court Friday that his accomplice is now dead.
Last year, a judge ruled that Ma was competent and did not suffer from a significant mental illness, disorder or defect.
Ma’s plea agreement with prosecutors also states that he will “provide more detailed information about this case during meetings with government representatives” and will be subjected to polygraph examinations.
“The defendant understands and agrees that the obligation to cooperate constitutes a lifetime commitment by the defendant to the United States to cooperate as defined in this agreement,” the court document said. It was said.
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