The U.S. authorities dismissed expenses in opposition to Massachusetts Institute of Expertise professor Gang Chen, who had been indicted on fraud-related expenses for allegedly failing to reveal Chinese language affiliations.
Chen was arrested simply over one yr in the past, in the course of the closing days of the Trump administration, certainly one of quite a lot of students prosecuted for alleged nondisclosures of Chinese language affiliations or funding sources beneath the auspices of the Division of Justice’s controversial China Initiative, launched by the Trump administration in 2018.
Since his arrest, one other researcher charged beneath the China Initiative was acquitted, and the federal government moved to dismiss no less than 5 different instances. One other professor charged beneath the initiative, Harvard College chemistry chair Charles Lieber, was convicted final month of mendacity to federal authorities about his participation in a Chinese language expertise program and failing to reveal the revenue on his taxes.
U.S. Legal professional for the District of Massachusetts Rachael S. Rollins mentioned in an announcement the dismissal of expenses in opposition to Chen “was within the pursuits of justice.”
Rollins mentioned that prosecutors had “just lately obtained further data pertaining to the materiality of Professor Chen’s alleged omissions within the context of the grant evaluate course of at difficulty on this case.”
“After a cautious evaluation of this new data within the context of all of the proof, our workplace has concluded that we are able to now not meet our burden of proof at trial,” she mentioned.
“The federal government lastly acknowledged what we mentioned all alongside: Professor Gang Chen is an harmless man,” Robert Fisher, Chen’s legal professional, mentioned in a written assertion. “Our protection was by no means based mostly on any authorized technicalities. Our protection was this: Gang didn’t commit any of the offenses he was charged with. Full cease. He was by no means in a expertise program. He was by no means an abroad scientist for Beijing. He disclosed all the pieces he was alleged to disclose and he by no means lied to the federal government or anybody else.”
Fisher thanked MIT and the MIT group for standing by Chen and in addition thanked “the numerous witnesses who got here ahead and advised the federal government how badly they misunderstood the small print surrounding scientific and tutorial collaboration.”
“After preventing this wayward prosecution for the previous yr, Gang is worked up to get again to the educating and the science he loves so dearly,” Fisher mentioned.
MIT president L. Rafael Reif celebrated the dismissal of the case.
“All of us who know Gang are deeply relieved,” Reif mentioned. “Gang was first detained at Logan Airport about six weeks earlier than the pandemic struck our group; the burdens on him and his relations since then have been past imagining.”
“Having had religion in Gang from the start, we are able to all be pleased about a simply consequence to a harmful course of,” Reif mentioned. “We’re looking forward to his full return to our group.”