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FWD: ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO MEETS WITH APA LEADERS ON WEN HO LEE CASE

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Posted by siopao on October 05, 2000 at 21:42:46:

For immediate release Contact: Joe Montano,
202-986-9330
October 4, 2000


ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO MEETS WITH APA LEADERS ON WEN HO LEE CASE

Washington, DC Oct. 4. -- Today representatives of the Asian Pacific
American (APA) community met with Attorney General Janet Reno to
discuss
issues surrounding the Wen Ho Lee case. Topics addressed included:
allegations of racial profiling/selective prosecution by government
agencies,
the measures being taken to counter bias within those agencies,
explanation
of 'standard procedures' as applied to Dr. Lee's conditions of
confinement,
testimony by FBI Agent Messemer, and the impact this case has had on
the
Asian Pacific American community, particularly employees of the
national
laboratories.

The Attorney General expressed her concern about the case and
re-affirmed her commitment to a thorough accounting of how it was
handled.
Further, Ms. Reno stated that she has already ordered a complete and
'broad
review of all matters leading up to the criminal case' of Dr. Lee,
detailing
the investigation through March 1999. Mr. Randy Bellows, Assistant
U.S.
Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, led the investigation.
The
report, currently classified, addresses law enforcement and selective
prosecution issues at the Departments of Energy, Justice and the FBI
and
includes recommendations for further action. Ms. Reno indicated that
she is
working to declassify the executive summary of this report as well as
other
documents related to the investigation to make them available to the
public.
Ms. Reno also confirmed that the Department of Justice and the FBI are
both
conducting separate reviews of how the case was handled through their
Offices
of Professional Responsibility.

'The numerous concerns of the APA community were discussed with
the
Attorney General. Selective prosecution and racial profiling were the
two
issues that we discussed at length,' remarked Daphne Kwok, Executive
Director
of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA). 'While we will have
to wait
until the internal investigative reports on the Lee case are released
to find
out how that case was handled, we did question what changes may need
to be
made to ensure that selective prosecution of individuals, whether
Asian
Pacific American or not, is eradicated from the system.'

Kristine Minami, Washington Representative and Director of Public
Affairs
for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), noted, 'Ms. Reno,
since the
beginning, has maintained an open door for communication with our
community.
In today's meeting, she reiterated her commitment to following through
on our
concerns and again extended the invitation for feedback should
additional
issues or questions arise.'

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations
(NaFFAA),
represented by Joe Montano (Capital Region Vice Chair), had supported
the APA
coalition's efforts to ensure that Wen Ho Lee was treated fairly. 'We
object
to any kind of racial profiling and we will always vigorously fight
it,
whether it's against African Americans or Asian Americans,' said Jon
Melegrito, Executive Director of NaFFAA. 'We are heartened to know
that the
Attorney General understands the seriousness of the concerns that
Asian
Pacific Americans have been raising about Wen Ho Lee's prosecution.
We will
continue to work with the Justice Department to make sure that justice
will
prevail in this case.'

The other APA leaders in attendance included Howard Halm,
President-elect
of NAPABA, John Yang, Regional Governor of NAPABA, and Joe Montano of
the
National Federation of Filipino American Associations.
>>

Jon Melegrito, Executive Director
National Federation of Filipino American
Associations (NaFFAA)
1444 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20005-2814
Tel. 202-986-9330
Fax 202-986-9332
e-mail: jonmele@naffaa.org
url: http://www.naffaa.org


Subject:
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO MEETS WITH APA LEADERS ON
WEN HO LEE CASE
Date:
Wed, 4 Oct 2000 18:54:48 -0400
From:
'JACL_alerts'
To:


For immediate release Contact: JACL: Kristine Minami (202)
223-1240
October 4, 2000 NAPABA: Laura Hong (216)
479-8554
NAPALC: Karen Narasaki
(202) 296-2300
OCA: Daphne Kwok (202)
223-5500

ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO MEETS WITH APA LEADERS ON WEN HO LEE CASE

Washington, DC -- Today representatives of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community met
with Attorney General Janet Reno to discuss issues surrounding the Wen Ho Lee case. Topics
addressed included: allegations of racial profiling/selective prosecution by government agencies,
the measures being taken to counter bias within those agencies, explanation of “standard
procedures” as applied to Dr. Lee’s conditions of confinement, testimony by FBI Agent
Messemer, and the impact this case has had on the Asian Pacific American community,
particularly employees of the national laboratories.

The Attorney General expressed her concern about the case and re-affirmed her commitment to a
thorough accounting of how it was handled. Further, Ms. Reno stated that she has already
ordered a complete and “broad review of all matters leading up to the criminal case” of Dr. Lee,
detailing the investigation through March 1999. Mr. Randy Bellows, Assistant U.S. Attorney for
the Eastern District of Virginia, led the investigation. The report, currently classified, addresses
law enforcement and selective prosecution issues at the Departments of Energy, Justice and the
FBI and includes recommendations for further action. Ms. Reno indicated that she is working to
declassify the executive summary of this report as well as other documents related to the
investigation to make them available to the public. Ms. Reno also confirmed that the Department
of Justice and the FBI are both conducting separate reviews of how the case was handled through
their Offices of Professional Responsibility.

Laura Hong, President of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
commented, “Though many answers appear to be ‘classified’, Ms. Reno made clear that she is
receptive to our inquiries and is committed to addressing the concerns of the community.”

“The numerous concerns of the APA community were discussed with the Attorney General.
Selective prosecution and racial profiling were the two issues that we discussed at length,”
remarked Daphne Kwok, Executive Director of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA).
“While we will have to wait until the internal investigative reports on the Lee case are released to
find out how that case was handled, we did question what changes may need to be made to
ensure that selective prosecution of individuals, whether Asian Pacific American or not,
is eradicated from the system.”

Kristine Minami, Washington Representative and Director of Public Affairs for the Japanese
American Citizens League (JACL), noted, “Ms. Reno, since the beginning, has maintained an
open door for communication with our community. In today’s meeting, she reiterated her
commitment to following through on our concerns and again extended the invitation for feedback
should additional issues or questions arise.”

Karen Narasaki, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium
(NAPALC) added, “The Attorney General made it clear that she understands the gravity of the
concerns that Asian Pacific Americans have been raising about the conduct of the investigation
and the prosecution. We appreciate her commitment to do everything she can to make sure that
we will be able to make an independent judgment based upon the evidence being gathered in the
various internal investigations.”

The other APA leaders in attendance included Howard Halm, President-elect of NAPABA, John
Yang, Regional Governor of NAPABA, and John Montoya, National Federation of Filipino
American Associations.
###
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being provided for informational purposes and does not imply an endorsement of any kind. Any
opinions contained herein are those of the author.


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