The U.S. authorities dismissed costs in opposition to Massachusetts Institute of Expertise professor Gang Chen, who had been indicted on fraud-related costs for allegedly failing to reveal Chinese language affiliations.
Chen was arrested simply over one 12 months in the past, in the course of the ultimate days of the Trump administration, considered one of quite a few students prosecuted for alleged nondisclosures of Chinese language affiliations or funding sources beneath the auspices of the Division of Justice’s controversial China Initiative, launched by the Trump administration in 2018.
Since his arrest, one other researcher charged beneath the China Initiative was acquitted, and the federal government moved to dismiss at the very least 5 different circumstances. One other professor charged beneath the initiative, Harvard College chemistry chair Charles Lieber, was convicted final month of mendacity to federal authorities about his participation in a Chinese language expertise program and failing to reveal the revenue on his taxes.
U.S. Lawyer for the District of Massachusetts Rachael S. Rollins mentioned in a press release the dismissal of costs in opposition to Chen “was within the pursuits of justice.”
Rollins mentioned that prosecutors had “just lately obtained extra info pertaining to the materiality of Professor Chen’s alleged omissions within the context of the grant evaluate course of at concern on this case.”
“After a cautious evaluation of this new info within the context of all of the proof, our workplace has concluded that we are able to now not meet our burden of proof at trial,” she mentioned.
“The federal government lastly acknowledged what we mentioned all alongside: Professor Gang Chen is an harmless man,” Robert Fisher, Chen’s legal professional, mentioned in a written assertion. “Our protection was by no means primarily based on any authorized technicalities. Our protection was this: Gang didn’t commit any of the offenses he was charged with. Full cease. He was by no means in a expertise program. He was by no means an abroad scientist for Beijing. He disclosed all the pieces he was presupposed to disclose and he by no means lied to the federal government or anybody else.”
Fisher thanked MIT and the MIT group for standing by Chen and in addition thanked “the various witnesses who got here ahead and informed the federal government how badly they misunderstood the main points surrounding scientific and educational collaboration.”
“After combating this wayward prosecution for the previous 12 months, Gang is happy to get again to the educating and the science he loves so dearly,” Fisher mentioned.
MIT president L. Rafael Reif celebrated the dismissal of the case.
“All of us who know Gang are deeply relieved,” Reif mentioned. “Gang was first detained at Logan Airport about six weeks earlier than the pandemic struck our group; the burdens on him and his members of the family since then have been past imagining.”
“Having had religion in Gang from the start, we are able to all be pleased about a simply consequence to a dangerous course of,” Reif mentioned. “We’re anticipating his full return to our group.”