'Father of B-2' denied bail again
A district judge rejects a second bid by the Maui man accused of selling military secrets
A MAUI MAN indicted for selling secret U.S. military information to foreign countries was denied release from jail yesterday by a federal judge who said the suspect poses a threat because "he's portable and the information is portable."
U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor rejected a second bid by Noshir Gowadia to be freed on bail.
Gillmor expressed concern about Gowadia's "prior travel done secretly," and issues of possible flight by air or sea. According to the allegations, there might be many countries interested in moving Gowadia, she said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson told the court that Gowadia has traveled abroad extensively and taken secretive trips, making him a flight risk.
Gowadia, who helped design the B-2 Spirit bomber's infrared-suppression system, was indicted on three counts of transmitting national defense information and three counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act. He is accused of transmitting by e-mail and fax to three foreign persons proposals to develop infrared-suppression technology and included top-secret information concerning a U.S. defense system.
Gowadia's attorney, Chris Todd, proposed strict conditions for his client's release including house arrest, wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet, using a GPS system on his two cars and restricting visitors to those who have been pre-approved. He also proposed removing all communication from his Maui home, including Internet access, except a land-line telephone for emergencies, only capable of making outgoing calls.
Gillmor doubted whether the plan would prevent Gowadia from making cell phone calls or using his computer to contact foreign persons who would be interested in his release.
Todd argued his client was not a flight risk. He said Gowadia will bring back to the United States his only assets abroad: an Australian bank account with a $5,000 balance and a foreign foundation. Gowadia owns a Haiku, Maui, home valued at $1.5 million, which the government has sought to have forfeited.
His attorney said Gowadia, a naturalized U.S. citizen, came to this country at age 18 from India and that all his family members, except a niece living in an Indian orphanage, live in this country. That includes his Texas-born wife, Cheryl, a son and daughter from a previous wife, now deceased, two sisters living in Anaheim, Calif., and a brother in Georgia.
He also has no prior criminal record and no history of violence or alcohol or drug abuse, Todd said.
After the hearing, Todd indicated that he might appeal Gillmor's ruling.