09:58 GMT22 October 2020
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    US prosecutors formally accused a former Central Intelligence Agency officer of violating federal laws by sharing information with Chinese intelligence officers, activities that some suspect is linked to the killing of more than a dozen CIA informants in China.

    The Justice Department indicted Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, Tuesday on three counts of violating federal law. Lee allegedly conspired to "gather or deliver" sensitive national security information to help a foreign government, the Justice Department said.

    In 2012, Lee and his family moved from Hong Kong to northern Virginia. While moving, FBI agents raided hotel rooms where Lee was staying in Hawaii and Virginia.

    "Lee was in unauthorized possession of materials relating to the national defense," the DOJ said.

    "Specifically, agents found two books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information, including but not limited to true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees," according to the department.

    Starting in 2010, Chinese intelligence officers asked Lee to provide information in exchange for payments, according to the indictment. He "received taskings" from a pair of Chinese intel officers, per the indictment.

    "During voluntary interviews with the FBI, Lee admitted preparing the document in response to taskings" from the Chinese intel officers, DOJ said in a Tuesday announcement.

    The assets identified by Lee were exploited by Beijing to dismantle the CIA's network of informants in China, which began to fall apart in 2010, Axios reported in January, adding that the assets were assassinated or imprisoned as part of the "systematic dismantling" of the covert network.

    The indictment follows an arrest warrant issued for Lee in January. Nevertheless, Lee is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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