NEWS

Fijian In US Pleads Not Guilty Over Spacecraft Parts

A Fijian man is due to go on trial in the United States in July, charged with attempting to buy spacecraft parts to sell to a Chinese client. William Ali,
21 May 2016 16:33
Fijian In US Pleads Not Guilty Over Spacecraft Parts
Not Guilty

A Fijian man is due to go on trial in the United States in July, charged with attempting to buy spacecraft parts to sell to a Chinese client.

William Ali, who lived and worked in New Zealand, appeared in the US District Court in Seattle overnight and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He is a former Fiji Airways aircraft engineer and in New Zealand had been working for Air New Zealand subsidiary Eagle Air. He had also run his own business

American prosecutors say Mr Ali violated the Arms Export Control Act.

According to court documents seen by RNZ News, Mr Ali was attempting to buy spacecraft parts called accelerometers which are designed for low- or zero-gravity – navigation systems.

He did not hold an export licence, which is required to trade in the parts.

Associated Press journalist Martha Bellisle has been following the case and told Morning Report that Mr Ali came to the attention of the Department of Homeland Security about a year ago, when he contacted several US companies.

The trial will begin on July 18, Associated Press reports.

 

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