Wednesday, October 1, 2014   

Chinese lawmaker Yee facing graft rap challenges FBI inquiry
(04-01 12:10)

A lawyer for a China-born lawmaker in the US state of California charged last week with accepting bribes and gun trafficking, challenged the three-year FBI investigation that led to the arrest, AP’s Paual Elias reports.
Senator Leland Yee's (Pictured) attorney Paul DeMeester asked why it took until Wednesday for the FBI to file charges when it appeared the investigation began in 2011.
“It raises fairness questions,'' DeMeester said after he and Yee made a brief federal court appearance in San Francisco. “Is it fair to the public, is it fair to the senator that it took so long?''
DeMeester in particular challenged why the FBI appeared to shift the focus from a cash-for-influence case to an investigation of alleged connections to international arms dealers.
“There's a question of whether the government felt it didn't have enough evidence on the campaign investigation, so it starts pushing on the arms trafficking,'' DeMeester said.
The US attorney's office in San Francisco didn't immediately respond to a phone call and email message seeking reaction to DeMeester's claims.
Yee has not entered a plea yet to one count of conspiracy to traffic in firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms, and to six counts of engaging in a scheme to defraud citizens of honest services.
He is accused of accepting bribes from undercover operatives needing political help in Sacramento and of agreeing to connect an undercover FBI agent posing as an underworld figure with an international arms dealer. DeMeester previously said the senator plans to plead not guilty.
Yee appeared briefly in court to discuss details of his release before trial. His next court date is April 8. He has been suspended from the legislature.
Wearing a brown pinstriped suit, Yee shot a brief smile at reporters assembled in the gallery before approaching the bench with DeMeester.
Yee is free on a US$500,000 unsecured bond. Prosecutors want property the senator owns to be used as collateral to guarantee he appears at all court hearings.
Federal prosecutors said they were close to accepting some property the senator owns but were still in negotiations with Yee and his lawyers.
Moments before Yee's appearance, Raymond “Shrimp Boy'' Chow, who authorities say is a Chinatown crime syndicate boss, was brought into court wearing ankle restraints and dressed in a mustard-yellow jail jumpsuit.
Chow was also arrested last week as part of the elaborate FBI sting operation targeting organized crime in the Chinatown area of San Francisco. A total of 26 people have been charged in the case.
Federal public defender Elizabeth Falk told the judge her office had a conflict from previous cases and she was still searching for a lawyer to represent Chow at government cost.
Chow was ordered to return to court on Wednesday. He was denied bail last week after a judge deemed him a flight risk.
Chow is accused of money laundering and other activities as the head of a notorious Chinatown-based gang. He has not entered a plea.



   
Other World breaking news:
New Interpol complex in Singapore to boost fight against cyber crime (09-30 15:32)
Man kicked to death in row over Japan noodle shop seat (09-30 15:18)
Canada demands Google, Netflix data, sets deadline: reports (09-30 14:12)
No Japan volcano rescue Tuesday amid fears of new eruption (09-30 14:10)
Dallas hospital monitoring patient for Ebola (09-30 12:04)
Islam-linked US beheading suspect to be charged (09-30 10:30)
SKorea ferry runs aground, all 109 rescued (09-30 10:29)
Spain files challenge to Catalonia independence vote (09-29 19:04)
War crimes court hears Karadzic closing arguments (09-29 16:22)
Two dead in decompression chamber in Japan spa (09-29 15:22)

More breaking news >>

© 2014 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts

 


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.