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Scientist accused of hiding Chinese funds sues Harvard over legal fees

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“It is disturbing that Harvard acted solely its in own self-interest by turning its back on a dedicated faculty member who suffers from a terminal illness and who is presumed innocent,” the lawsuit says

A Harvard University professor charged with hiding his ties to a Chinese-run recruitment program sued the Ivy League faculty on Friday over its refusal to pay his legal protection prices, accusing it of “turning its back on a dedicated faculty member.”

Charles Lieber, who was chair of the division of chemistry and chemical biology, was arrested in January at his workplace on campus and charged in federal court docket with mendacity about his involvement in China’s Thousand Talents Plan, a program designed to lure folks with data of international know-how and mental property to China.

Lieber’s legal professional, Marc Mukasey, has promised to mount a vigorous protection and has mentioned that “when justice is done, Charlie’s good name will be restored.”

The lawsuit says Harvard denied Lieber’s request to advance his protection prices, hasn’t agreed to reimburse him in any respect and is demanding that he primarily “prove definitively his innocence to Harvard” earlier than his trial to get monetary assist. “Employees who find themselves accused of wrongdoing rely on their employers’ promises to pay their defense costs,” the grievance says.

In this Jan. 30, 2020, Harvard University professor Charles Lieber leaves federal court docket in Boston  
| Photo Credit:
AP

“Instead of following suit, and supporting their long-standing, well-respected employee, Harvard has placed Professor Lieber on administrative leave, publicly denounced him, improperly characterized the charges against him, and permanently and falsely associated him with academic espionage, forever harming his reputation,” it mentioned.

A Harvard spokesperson declined to touch upon the lawsuit. The college is cooperating with authorities within the legal case.

The lawsuit accuses Harvard of breach of contract and says the college’s failure to observe by will depart Lieber, who was recognized years in the past with a blood most cancers, and his household “impoverished.”

“It is disturbing that Harvard acted solely its in own self-interest by turning its back on a dedicated faculty member who suffers from a terminal illness and who is presumed innocent. More importantly, it is illegal,” the lawsuit says.

Authorities say Lieber was paid $50,000 a month by the Wuhan University of Technology in China below his Thousand Talents Program contract and awarded greater than $1.5 million to ascertain a analysis lab on the Chinese college. In alternate, prosecutors say, Lieber agreed to use for patents and do different work on behalf of the Chinese college.

Authorities say Lieber lied about ties to this system and the Chinese college, telling federal authorities that he was by no means requested to take part within the Thousand Talents Plan. He’s been indicted by a grand jury on two counts of making false statements to authorities – a cost that requires as much as 5 years in jail if he’s convicted.



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