secrets to China is due to be sentenced in federal court on Monday.
Noshir Gowadia, 66, faces up to life in prison for his conviction on 14
counts, including conspiracy, communicating national defence information
to aid a foreign nation, and violating the arms export control act.
Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway is due to issue her sentence
after listening to arguments from the prosecution and defence. Gowadia,
who has been in custody without bail since his 2005 arrest, is also
expected to have an opportunity to make a statement.
A federal jury in August found Gowadia guilty after deliberating for six
days. They had heard 39 days of evidence over nearly four months. The
jury acquitted him on three counts.
Prosecutors said Gowadia helped China design a stealth cruise missile to
get money to pay the $15,000-a-month mortgage on his multimillion
dollar home overlooking the ocean in Haiku on Maui. They said he
pocketed at least $110,000 from the sale of military secrets.
They said Gowadia showed his Chinese contacts how his stealth cruise
missile design would be effective against U.S. air-to-air missiles.
Gowadia’s defence attorneys said it’s true the engineer gave China the
design for a stealth cruise missile exhaust nozzle but he based his work
on unclassified, publicly available information. Gowadia’s son has said
his father plans to appeal.
The sentencing comes just weeks after China conducted a flight test of
its new J-20 stealth fighter during a visit to Beijing by U.S. Defence
Secretary Robert Gates.
The Jan. 11 flight was held at an airfield in Chengdu, where prosecutors
say Gowadia delivered an oral presentation on classified stealth
technology in 2003.
The city is home to the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute and is a
centre for Chinese fighter aircraft and cruise missile reseach and
Gowadia helped design the propulsion system for the B-2 bomber when he
worked at Northrop Corp., now known as Northrop Grumman Corp., between
1968 and 1986.
Born in India, he moved to the U.S. for postgraduate work in the 1960s
and became a U.S. citizen about a decade later. He retired from Northrop
for health reasons in 1986, two years before the B-2 made its public
Gowadia moved to Maui in 1999 from the U.S. mainland where he had been doing consulting work after retiring from Northrop.