(TibetanReview.net, Feb13’21) – A Brooklyn district federal judge has on Feb 12 approved a new bail package for the NYPD officer accused of spying on Tibetans for the Chinese government, allowing him to be released on house arrest, reported the New York Daily News Feb 12. The release on a $2 million bond was ordered in part due to the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the prison.
Angwang had tested positive for Covid-19 on Feb 3. So, his release remains on hold until he is free of the virus after undergoing a 21-day quarantine in jail.
Assistant US Attorney Matthew Haggis objected to the decision, arguing that if Baimadajie Angwang, 34, entered the Chinese consulate in New York, the government would have no ability to recover him “short of an act of war”, reported nypost.com Feb 12.
However, US District Judge Eric Komitee reversed his prior ruling denying Angwang bail over concerns about coronavirus conditions at the MDC (Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn), where the former Marine has been held in solitary confinement for four months — and in light of a new beefed-up bond.
The suspended Queens cop is accused of having spied on other ethnic Tibetans in New York on behalf of China and had offered to provide to his contact in the local Chinese consulate information about the internal operations of the NYPD.
The judge was reported to have agreed that the pandemic was now raging at the federal lockup, where 75 inmates and 25 staffers currently had active cases.
Defense attorney John Carman has offered a $2 million bail package — doubling the amount initially proposed — to be secured by a pair of Maryland properties worth a combined $520,000 and the $450,000 equity in the Long Island home Angwang shares with his wife and daughter.
After Angwang was busted in September on charges of acting as an agent for a foreign government, obstruction, wire fraud and making false statements, Judge Lois Bloom had granted his release on a $1 million bond to house arrest with electronic monitoring. But the government appealed and Komitee overturned her decision.
Between Jun 2018 and Mar 2020, the accused spy spoke with the Chinese consulate official by telephone at least 53 times. The official was assigned to a division responsible for “neutralizing sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority” of China, the New York Daily News report cited the feds as saying.