Apple has ‘deep concerns’ that ex-employees accused of theft will flee to China

Technology

FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

SAN JOSE, California – (Reuters) – Apple Inc on Monday told a federal court it has “deep concerns” that two Chinese-born former employees accused of stealing trade secrets from the company will try to flee before their trials if their locations are not monitored.

At a hearing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, prosecutors argued that Xiaolang Zhang and Jizhong Chen should continue to be monitored because they present flight risks.

Both men were arrested on criminal trade secrets theft charges while heading to airports to fly to China and have been monitored after being released on bail. Their defense attorney said Monday that both men had family reasons to visit China and had shown no signs of violating their pre-trial conditions so far.

In the cases of both men, Assistant U.S. Attorney Marissa Harris argued that if either man fled to China, it would be difficult if not impossible for federal officials to secure their extradition for a trial. Three Apple employees showed up to support prosecutors, including Anthony DeMario, a strategic adviser to Apple’s global security group and veteran of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Harris read Apple’s statement to U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila at a hearing in San Jose, California.

“Apple’s intellectual property is at the core of our innovation and growth,” the statement said. “The defendants’ continued participation in these proceedings is necessary to ensure a final determination of the facts, and we have deep concerns the defendants will not see this through if given the opportunity.”

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Jose; Editing by Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman

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