Court Upholds Mauian’s Conviction in Sale of National Secrets
By Wendy Osher
A court upheld convictions against a Maui man who was found guilty of criminal offenses relating to the disclosure of classified defense information and espionage.
Noshir S. Gowadia was sentenced to to 32 years in prison in 2010 for communicating classified national defense information to the People’s Republic of China, illegally exporting military technical data, as well as money laundering, filing false tax returns and other offenses.
He had appealed his conviction in which he was accused of illegally exporting defense services and technical data related to the design of the B-2 “stealth” bomber and other classified government projects to China. Under the conviction, Gowadia was also found guilty of disclosing related classified information to individuals in Switzerland, Israel and Germany.
Under the appeal, Gowadia claimed that “his right to prompt presentment before a magistrate judge was triggered before he was actually arrested, and that the inculpatory statements he made to federal agents investigating his activities should have been suppressed.” The appeal further challenged the jury instructions.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction on Monday saying Gowadia’s arguments “fail as a matter of law.”
According to court documents, Gowadia worked for nearly 20 years as an engineer at Northrop Corporation on the design of the B-2 bomber and other “highly classified projects.” His work as a lead engineer included a design that allegedly enables the B-2 to avoid detection by suppressing the infrared signature emanating from the aircraft.
Federal agents conducted a search warrant of Gowadia’s Maui home on Oct. 13, 2005, on suspicion of unlawful activities. During a followup interview the next day, court records indicate that Gowadia “stated that he had retained classified material and used it for business purposes and that he had disclosed classified information to foreign individuals and governments, including China.”
Gowadia was subsequently arrested on Oct. 26, 2005.
He was convicted on Aug. 9, 2010, following a 41-day jury trial.