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U.S. Prosecutors Reconsider, Back Delay in Espionage Suspect's Trial

April 25, 2002|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors reversed course Wednesday and agreed to ask a federal judge to delay the espionage trial of a retired Air Force master sergeant accused of plotting to spy for Iraq, China and Libya.

Government lawyers told U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in Alexandria, Va., that they support the request by defense lawyers to push back the trial date for Brian Patrick Regan, 39.

Lee this week scheduled a June 3 trial, which defense lawyers assailed as too soon for a death penalty case.

U.S. Atty. Paul McNulty said Tuesday that prosecutors would neither support nor oppose the request by Regan's lawyers to delay the trial. But Wednesday's court filing by prosecutors said the arguments by defense lawyers for more time were made in good faith.

The government acknowledged that it would take at least 45 days to obtain security clearances to allow defense experts to examine classified documents. The trial date set by the judge gave the sides just 43 days before testimony begins.

Regan worked for the Air Force and briefly for TRW Inc., a defense contractor.

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