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August 29, 2008 

Prosecution Rests Case on Day Four of Roth Trial

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the prosecution wrapped up the fourth day of the Roth trial yesterday by calling FBI Agent Kevin E. Gounaud to the stand.

University of Professor Emeritus J. Reece Roth is accused of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and violating the AECA by providing controlled technical data to a Chinese national in the U.S. and by exporting such data to China.

Here is a summary of Agent Gounaud's testimony according to the reporter covering the trial:

Although handwritten notes seized from Roth's office at UT suggested the retired professor was well aware that the drone project fell under the auspices of a federal law barring foreign nationals from access to technical data on military munitions systems, Gounaud testified that Roth insisted he was ignorant of that law.

* * *

Gounaud testified Thursday that Roth insisted he had developed a system to keep from Xin information about the device being designed for use on the drone and denied that Xin received regular reports of the work on that device being performed at AGT by UT graduate assistant Truman Bonds, an American citizen.

"He indicated to his knowledge there was no sharing of reports," the agent testified.

However, e-mail messages entered as evidence in the case indicated that Roth was routinely notified that Bonds was sending reports to Xin about his work.

In a later interview, Gounaud said Roth complained that the federal export law at issue in the case was unnecessary and believed the federal government was wrong in its "bad guy" view of Iran.

"His opinion was, in essence, perhaps we should not have export controls," Gounaud testified.

Defense counsel has indicated that they plan to call Professor Roth to the stand today to answer the charges against him. Should be an interesting day.

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