U.S. wants to drop Chinese researcher visa fraud case

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – US prosecutors on Thursday asked to drop their case against a Chinese researcher accused of covering up her links to the Chinese military on a visa application so she can work in the United States

In documents filed in federal court in Sacramento, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss a visa fraud charge against Juan Tang, but gave no reason.

The trial was due to start on Monday. A message seeking comment from the US attorney’s office in Sacramento was not returned.

Tang’s attorneys told the Sacramento Bee that they had provided “sufficient reason” for the government to dismiss the case.

“We hope that Dr Tang will be allowed to return to her daughter and husband on her own,” Malcolm Segal and Tom Johnson said in a statement.

The Justice Department announced charges against Tang and three other scientists living in the United States last July, claiming they had lied about their status as members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

Prosecutors said Tang lied about his military ties in a visa application last October when she planned to work at the University of California at Davis and again in an interview with the FBI months later. . Officers found photos of Tang wearing a military uniform and examined articles in China identifying his military affiliation.

Officers said they believed Tang sought refuge at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco after interviewing her at her home in Davis, and accused the consulate of harboring a known fugitive. She was taken into custody after leaving the consulate for a doctor’s appointment, the Bee reported.

Tang’s lawyers had argued that the doctor was not a member of the Chinese military but had worked as a civilian in a Chinese military installation. They said the accusation of lying about her visa application would likely have resulted in a six-month sentence, less than the 10 months she had already spent in prison and house arrest.

U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez previously dismissed a separate count accusing Tang of lying to the FBI because agents violated Miranda’s rights by not telling her that she did not have to answer. to their questions.

Tang was never able to start her cancer research at UC Davis because the coronavirus pandemic shut down the lab where she was supposed to work.

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