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katrina leung's defense

Here are her lawyer's arguments, plus Katrina's statement to FRONTLINE.

In her trial, scheduled for the fall of 2004, Katrina Leung's defense team will argue that she is innocent and that she is being punished for actions that the FBI once condoned and encouraged.

A motion filed in Katrina's June 2003 bail hearing lays out her defense against the government's charges that she possessed and copied documents. The motion argues that any information she had, she had received from the FBI as part of her "job" as an FBI asset. It also maintains that "it is not clear that Ms. Leung copied or even knew she had the documents at issue" and that "it is not clear whether someone would know they are 'national defense information.'"

Katrina's lawyer John Vandelvelde spoke to FRONTLINE about the allegations that she was paid more than $1.7 million by the FBI in the course of her work for the bureau. "When you do the math, what it amounts to is that she got paid about $80,000 a year," he says. "More than two-thirds of that was for expenses for trips that she took to China and other places at the direction of the FBI. The FBI approved and paid for those expenses. It left her with an income of something less than $30,000 a year for working full-time for the FBI."

Katrina's lawyers would not allow her to be interviewed by FRONTLINE; however they did help her craft the following on-camera statement:

I can walk with my head held high, because I know I'm innocent of the charges in this case. I have been, and I am, a loyal American. I am very confident I will be found innocent. But that is not enough. I will not rest easy until my name, my family's name, is cleared. That is what I want here.


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posted january 15, 2004

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