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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 4, 2006

New charges pending in B-2 case

By Ken Kobayashi
Advertiser Courts Writer

Federal prosecutors plan to seek a new indictment against a Maui man accused of selling military secrets to foreign governments, it was disclosed yesterday in federal court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson said his office will seek the new charges against Noshir Gowadia "relatively soon."

"This case will radically change, we believe, your honor," Sorenson told Chief U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor.

Sorenson later declined to elaborate on the new charges, but Gowadia's trial, set to begin May 9, will likely be postponed.

Gowadia, 61, who has been held without bail at the Federal Detention Center since Oct. 26, is charged in a six-count indictment with violating the U.S. Arms Export Control Act and delivering national defense information and classified data to foreign persons.

A former design engineer for a defense contractor, Gowadia is accused of selling classified information about the B-2 stealth bomber to foreign governments.

Each count could bring a prison term of up to 10 years.

At a hearing on the status of the case, it became clear that the trial would have to be postponed after the new indictment.

The case is complicated because it involves a massive amount of documents, and some may be classified and confidential.

K. Chris Todd, Gowadia's lawyer from a Washington, D.C., firm, said his client wants to exercise his right to a speedy trial. Todd again asked for Gowadia's release under house arrest so he can help prepare his defense.

Todd said Gowadia's testimony is essential because he is an expert in the field, and because they weren't able to get other experts because of the classified nature of the materials.

But Sorenson noted that Gillmor and a federal magistrate last year both declined to release Gowadia.

Gillmor said without any new information, she was not going to rule on Gowadia's request.

Gowadia's detention has had a "negative impact on his health," Gowadia's Honolulu attorney, Birney Bervar, said after the hearing.

At the bail hearings last year, Todd argued that Gowadia suffers from a genetic blood disease that requires him to get 11 to 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Reach Ken Kobayashi at kkobayashi@honoluluadvertiser.com.