The attorneys for LCDR Edward Lin, a former P-3 Orion Naval Flight Officer accused of espionage, have filed a motion in court and accused the US Navy of “an aggressive media campaign” against the officer. They are seeking to dismiss the government case against the Naval Officer because of a lack of speedy trial.
According to a late June motion, Lin’s attorneys argue that he has been denied his constitutional right of a fair and speedy trial. In its place, Lin’s defense alleges that the Navy and US Fleet Forces command have waged an “aggressive media campaign” against him. The results of this campaign have made it impossible to render a fair verdict for the accused according to the motion.
“The court should grant the defense motion to dismiss all charges and all specifications thereto, with prejudice for a lack of speedy trial,” wrote Lin’s civilian attorney, Larry Youngner.
“We maintain that Lt. Cmdr. Lin is innocent of espionage, innocent of failing to follow lawful orders, innocent of false official statements and innocent of violating Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” Youngner said earlier in a May 16 statement.
Lin has been in pre trial confinement since September 2015. Among the charges, he is accused of two instances of espionage, mishandling classified information, and failing to report contact with foreign agents. Lin, a Taiwan native who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1998, is suspected of providing secrets to Taiwan diplomats and military staff.
The Naval Flight Officer served in Special Projects Patrol Squadron 2 (VPU-2) in MCBH Kaneohe Bay, HI. The E-P3’s flown by VPU-2 are some of the Navy’s most sophisticated reconnaissance aircraft in its inventory.
Lin’s attorney’s charge that the Navy organized negative press against the accused which in turn led to unlawful command influence. The defense also stated it would be impossible to find an impartial jury due to the negative media attention.
“All of this has come from the government, either the Pentagon, Navy spokespersons, Fleet Forces or even unnamed sources within the various commands,” read the motion.
“That is just further evidence of a continued taint on Lt. Cmdr. Lin, and that the Government and its agents are continuing to taint our members.”
Since most of the evidence of against Lin is classified Secret, the trial will be closed. Lin remains in pre-trial confinement at the Naval Consolidated Brig in Chesapeake, Va. The general court-martial date has been set for late October.
You can read Sam LeGrone’s full USNI article here and David Larter’s full Navy Times article here.
Top Photo credit: (Photo: MC1 Sarah Murphy/Navy)