Asia-Pacific

US spy for China Noshir Gowadia jailed for 32 years

FBI picture, undated, of Noshir Gowadia
Image caption Gowardia's family said he would never have intentionally harmed the US

A US engineer who sold military secrets to China has been sentenced to 32 years in prison.

Indian-born Noshir Gowadia, 66, had helped to design the propulsion system for the B-2 bomber.

A court in Hawaii found him guilty in August of passing on information which helped China to design a stealth cruise missile.

Prosecutors had hoped for a life sentence but said 32 years was "in many ways appropriate".

Gowadia was accused of travelling to China between 2003 and 2005 while designing the missile.

He was said to have been paid $110,000 (£69,000) - money that was used to pay off a mortgage on a luxury home on the island of Maui.

His defence had argued that he only provided information which was unclassified and freely available.

But Chief US District Judge Susan Oki Mollway said Gowadia "broke his oath of loyalty" to the US.

"He was found guilty of marketing valuable technology to foreign countries for personal gain," she told reporters.

Assistant US Attorney Ken Sorenson said he was "a little disappointed" that a life sentence was not given.

"But 32 years is stiff and in many ways an appropriate sentence for him," he said.

"We're confident the message is sent that when you compromise US national security, when you disclose national defence secrets, when you profit by US national defence information, that you will be punished, you will be pursued, you will be convicted."

Gowardia's family said the defence intended to appeal against the sentence.

"My father would never, ever do anything to intentionally hurt this country," the Associated Press news agency quoted his son Ashton as saying.

"We hope the convictions will be overturned and he'll be able to go home."

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