(TibetanReview.net, Jan15’23) – In what may come as a shock to many, especially many Tibetans, US Federal prosecutors have on Jan 13 dropped their case against an NYPD cop accused of being a spy for the Chinese government. No clear explanation has been offered for dropping what has all along been described as serious charges against the accused whose main focus was on exile Tibetans. His lawyer has suggested that the prosecution had no real case against him.
Prosecutors in the Brooklyn US Attorney Breon’s office signed off Friday on vague legal papers, asking federal Judge Eric R Komitee to dismiss an indictment against Baimadajie Angwang. The feds said they reached the decision after examining “additional information bearing on the charges,” but they offered no specifics, reported the nypost.com Jan 14.
The 36-year-old NYPD cop and US Army reservist who had secret-level security clearance from the Department of Defense, was arrested in Sep 2020 on allegations that he used his job as cop in the 111th Precinct in eastern Queens as a means of spying on the city’s Tibetan communities on behalf of the Chinese government.
Prosecutors alleged that Angwang began spying on behalf of the People’s Republic of China in May 2018 with an unidentified handler stationed in the Chinese consulate in Manhattan
His trial was scheduled to begin July 17 after he was an granted an extension. He was initially set to go before jurors last September.
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At the time of his indictment, FBI New York Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney Jr. called Angwang “the definition of an insider threat.”
He said the reportedly Tibetan-American “operated on behalf of a foreign government; lied to gain his clearance, and used his position as an NYPD police officer to aid the Chinese government’s subversive and illegal attempts to recruit intelligence sources.”
Angwang was also accused of giving the Chinese an inside look at the operations of the police department.
Federal prosecutors wrote in a motion filed in August that “the defendant was well-suited to the task,” because he was “a community liaison officer and was fluent in Mandarin.”
The feds also wanted the jury to hear wiretapped talks between Angwang, and his Chinese handler detailing how he could best serve his foreign bosses, noted the nydailynews.com Jan 15.
The report cited court papers as saying Angwang had once suggested to his Chinese handler that he cited his status in the NYPD as a selling point to climb the career ladder in China.
“Let them know, you have recruited one in the Police Department,” Angwang was alleged to have told the handler in 2018 in a wiretapped conversation.
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Angwang, who joined the NYPD in 2014, received asylum in the US after he claimed he was tortured in China because he was ethnically Tibetan, the criminal complaint was stated to have alleged. In truth, Angwang’s parents were both members of the Chinese Communist Party.
Angwang faced up to 55 years in prison for the charges which included acting as an illegal agent of China, wire fraud and making false statements.
Angwang’s lawyer John F Carman has accused the feds of hiding behind the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) to avoid having to explain why the case was being dropped.
“The truth is that they are hiding behind CIPA in an effort to give the impression that this was a legitimate prosecution, which it was not,” the nypost.com report quoted him as saying. “Mr Angwang is a great American who served his country in combat in Afghanistan and our government repaid him by treating him like he was the leader of the Taliban.”