Apple has ‘deep concerns’ that ex-employees accused of theft will flee to China

At a hearing in US District Court for the Northern District of California, prosecutors argued that former Apple Inc employees Xiaolang Zhang and Jizhong Chen should continue to be monitored because they present flight risks. — Reuters pic
At a hearing in US District Court for the Northern District of California, prosecutors argued that former Apple Inc employees Xiaolang Zhang and Jizhong Chen should continue to be monitored because they present flight risks. — Reuters pic

SAN JOSE, Dec 10 — Apple Inc yesterday told a federal court it has “deep concerns” that two Chinese-born former employees accused of stealing trade secrets from the company will try to flee before their trials if their locations are not monitored.

At a hearing in US District Court for the Northern District of California, prosecutors argued that Xiaolang Zhang and Jizhong Chen should continue to be monitored because they present flight risks.

Both men were arrested on criminal trade secrets theft charges while heading to airports to fly to China and have been monitored after being released on bail. Their defence attorney said yesterday that both men had family reasons to visit China and had shown no signs of violating their pre-trial conditions so far.

In the cases of both men, Assistant US Attorney Marissa Harris argued that if either man fled to China, it would be difficult if not impossible for federal officials to secure their extradition for a trial.

Three Apple employees showed up to support prosecutors, including Anthony DeMario, a strategic adviser to Apple’s global security group and veteran of the US Central Intelligence Agency.

Harris read Apple’s statement to US District Judge Edward J. Davila at a hearing in San Jose, California.

“Apple’s intellectual property is at the core of our innovation and growth,” the statement said. “The defendants’ continued participation in these proceedings is necessary to ensure a final determination of the facts, and we have deep concerns the defendants will not see this through if given the opportunity.” — Reuters

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