Maui man's espionage trial begins - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Maui man's espionage trial begins

Noshir Gowadia Noshir Gowadia

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Noshir Gowadia is accused of selling out his country by selling defense secrets to China.

For nearly two decades as an engineer with defense contractor Northrop Corp., Gowadia helped design the propulsion system on the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.

He's charged with helping China design a cruise missile based on stealth technology.

In his opening statement, Assistant US Attorney Ken Sorenson told the jury the case is about "betrayal, greed, deception and deceit."

He accused Gowadia of committing "reprehensible acts."

But defense attorney David Klein argued that Gowadia is a man who gave his life for the United States and only wanted to help this country.

In October, 2005, federal agents raided Gowadia's home in Haiku.

Sorenson said they seized documents and classified information that tied Gowadia to acts of espionage.

He said investigators questioned Gowadia for several days, during which Gowadia wrote a statement admitting what he did was wrong.

But Klein said his client was scared, coerced and threatened so "he told investigators what they wanted to hear."

He said Gowadia did market himself as a B-2 Stealth Bomber expert but "he knew he was giving the Chinese nothing."

Gowadia is charged with 17 counts, including money laundering and filing false tax returns.

Gowadia's son and daughter were in court.

If their father is found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly