An attorney representing a Los Angeles-area couple indicted on charges of exporting nearly $1 million in sophisticated electronic equipment to Pakistan vigorously denied Saturday that his clients were involved in illegal shipping.
Arnold I. and Rona K. Mandel were indicted by a federal grand jury in Sacramento Friday, along with Leung Yiu Hung, a Hong Kong importer who is also known as Paul Leung. The indictment charges that the three conspired to conceal equipment sales to Pakistan by shipping them to Hong Kong first.
Prosecutors said the materials could be used for "high-energy research," but would not comment on any possible links to nuclear weapons manufacture. Pakistan, which has refused to sign a nuclear non-proliferation treaty, is suspected of trying to develop its own nuclear weapons.
"At no time in any of their activities were they aware that any equipment sold by or through them was intended for use in nuclear weapons production or for that matter by the government of Pakistan," said the Mandels' attorney, Marcus Topel.
"At no time did they do anything which they believed was in violation of any rules or regulations or act with intent to break the law," Topel added.
Topel declined to answer specific questions about the charges, saying he had not seen the indictment.