According to Reuters, on Dec. 14, a federal jury was selected for the trial of a Harvard University professor of nanotechnology.
Professor Charles Lieber is accused of lying to the U.S. government about his connection with a recruitment program run by China and concealing the funding he received from the Chinese regime.
Prosecutors said that in 2011 Lieber became a “strategic scientist” at Wuhan University of Technology. Through that, he participated in a Chinese recruitment called Thousand Talents Program.
Wuhan University granted Lieber more than 1.5 million US Dollars to set up a Chinese lab and agreed to pay him $50,000 per month with $150,000 for annual living expenses.
The trial is part of the US Department of Justice’s “China Initiative” campaign, which dates back to the administration of former President Donald Trump. The campaign aims to combat China’s economic espionage and research theft.
In 2019, Harvard University reported to the U.S. National Institutes of Health that Lieber did not participate in the Thousand Talents Program. However, prosecutors said that Lieber had lied to investigators and to Harvard University.
The trial of Charles Lieber is the most prominent case in the U.S. sanctions campaign for China’s infiltration of U.S. universities.
The Boston jury will return on December 15th to hear the attorneys present in court.
Charles Lieber, 62, is the former head of chemistry at Harvard University and a pioneer in nanotechnology.
In 2011, Mr. Lieber was honored by Thomson Reuters as the world’s leading chemist in the decade 2000-2010 based on the impact of his scientific publications.
Mr. Lieber denied the accusation of making six fraudulent statements and the tax allegations.
Mr. Lieber’s lawyer Marc Mukasey said that he “didn’t hide anything, and he didn’t get paid as the government alleges.”