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Tuesday, 26 September, 2000, 19:41 GMT 20:41 UK
US Senate hears spy case accusations

The United States Senate has been hearing from senior law officers why the nuclear scientist, Wen Ho Lee, was kept in solitary confinement for nine months.

Mr Lee, a Taiwanese-born American, was released earlier this month after he pleaded guilty to one of fifty-nine charges relating to his copying information from the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory where he worked.

The Attorney-General, Janet Reno, and the Director of the FBI, Louis Freeh, said Mr Lee had lied about his contacts with foreign scientists and had downloaded an enormous volume of sensitive information onto computer disks.

Miss Reno said Mr Lee had committed a very serious and calculated crime and was not -- as some had suggested -- an absent-minded scientist. President Clinton has previously said he had reservations about Mr Lee being held for such a long time without bail.

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