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Accused spy's attorney says there was no espionage

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:33 p.m. HST, Mar 22, 2013

An attorney for a defense contractor accused of giving military secrets to his 27-year-old Chinese girlfriend says there’s no evidence that classified information was given to China or to any other foreign country. 

Lawyer Birney Bervar said Friday the case is about two people in love, not espionage.

Bervar says he spoke to Benjamin Bishop’s girlfriend, who hasn’t been named by authorities. 

She told him agents went to her home last Friday and seized computers but have since returned one computer and another laptop. She hasn’t been arrested.  

She also told Bervar she took and passed a government polygraph test. Bervar didn’t say what questions she was asked. 

FBI spokesman Tom Simon declined to comment.

A federal judge said he wants to hear more arguments before deciding Bishop should be released on bail while awaiting trial.

The judge also will consider releasing Bishop, 59, to a third-party custodian.

Bishop is charged with one count of communicating national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it, and one count of unlawfully retaining national defense documents and plans.

An FBI affidavit alleges Bishop gave his 27-year-old girlfriend classified information about war plans, nuclear weapons, missile defenses and other topics through email messages and telephone calls.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi set another hearing for Monday. 

The Army Reserve lieutenant colonel was working at the U.S. Pacific Command as a contractor when he was arrested a week ago. Officials haven’t disclosed the name of the contractor employing him.

The affidavit says Bishop met the woman at an international military conference in Hawaii. They began an intimate, romantic relationship in June 2011, when Bishop was working at a Pacific Command office that develops plans to deter potential U.S. adversaries, according to the affidavit and Bishop’s LinkedIn profile online.

The woman lives in the U.S. on a student visa. U.S. authorities have not identified her or said whether they believe she is working for the Chinese government.

The unlawfully retaining national defense documents charge stems from allegations Bishop improperly kept some classified information at home.

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64hoo wrote:
I hope the judge says no bail, the traitor should not smell freedom from getting bail keep him in there until old age or when he dies. that's what he deserves. since we can't give him a firing squad.
on March 21,2013 | 11:19PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
on March 22,2013 | 01:49AM
Randz808 wrote:
Nope! Guilty...until proven innocent!
on March 22,2013 | 08:06PM
localguy wrote:
In the case of traitors, especially a babooze former military officer, who gave our military secrets to a Chinese skirt, I see no problem with pre trial confinement. He is well aware of his crimes, for which the penalty should be life in prison, he has nothing to whine about. Fact is he would be safer in confinement as on the outside someone just might try to take him out. Book em Dano.
on March 22,2013 | 05:20AM
bender wrote:
Maybe he can get the State Senate Public Safety Committee (aka as the Soft on Crime Committee) to pass a resolution to free him as they did for port advocate Christie.
on March 22,2013 | 06:01AM
pcman wrote:
Bishop should be detained and his finances and passports taken away. If he is released, h could sell a lot more of his knowledge of US military secrets to agents from all of our current and potential adversaries. Further, he probably has stashes of money in the countries that have been buying his knowledge and stolen documents. He should also be court martialed and his grade reduced to Private (E-1) and he should forfeit all of his military retirement pay, benefits and priveledges. If found guilty he should spend the rest of his lifeserving hard labor at Leavenworth prison. The punishment must deter any other military personnel or civilian employee from sellingclassified information to our enemies.
on March 22,2013 | 08:10AM
honopic wrote:
Totally agree with you, pcman. Yes, he is innocent until proven guilty, but an obvious flight risk and he should stay locked up until his trial is over. If he did the crime, he should do all the hard time that comes with it. Life at Leavenworth, with no possibility of parole. Besides selling out his country, he would also be guilty of crimes against his former comrades. If one American soldier dies because of his actions, he should also be convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.
on March 22,2013 | 01:09PM
sparkyzane wrote:
What I want to know is are we running out of Hotties?
on March 22,2013 | 02:47PM
ready2go wrote:
What a stupid man ! For his safety, he should stay in jail.
on March 22,2013 | 10:31AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Grant bail, then he's off to China.
on March 22,2013 | 03:06PM
sailfish1 wrote:
The Chinese girl seems to be smarter than this traitor. She did not keep any secret documents on her computer. How she passed a polygraph test is kind of puzzling.
on March 22,2013 | 06:32PM
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