Harvard professor pleads not guilty to hiding ties to China

National News
Charles Lieber

FILE – In this Jan. 30, 2020, Harvard University professor Charles Lieber leaves federal court in Boston following his arrest on allegations he hid his involvement in a program designed to recruit people with knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property to China. Lieber, former chair of the department of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard, pleaded not guilty via videoconference on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, to lying about his ties to the Chinese-run recruitment program. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

BOSTON (AP) — A Harvard University professor pleaded not guilty Tuesday to lying about his ties to a Chinese-run recruitment program.

Charles Lieber appeared via videoconference before a federal court magistrate judge in Boston because of the coronavirus pandemic. He didn’t speak, other than to answer questions from the judge and enter his not guilty plea.

Lieber, the former chair of the department of chemistry and chemical biology, was arrested in January on allegations that he hid his involvement in China’s Thousand Talents Plan, a program designed to recruit people with knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property to China.

He was indicted this month by a federal grand jury on two counts of making false statements to authorities, a charge that calls for up to five years in prison if he is convicted.

Lieber’s lawyer, Marc Mukasey, said in an email last week that “the government has this wrong” and that “when justice is done, Charlie’s good name will be restored.”

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