Spy charges dismissed against NYPD officer
NEW YORK — An New York Police Department officer accused of spying on the city’s Tibetan communities for the Chinese government was “innocent from the very beginning,” his lawyer said Thursday after a judge dismissed the charges in the case.
Baimadajie Angwang, 36, walked out of court an innocent man after federal prosecutors said new evidence surfaced in their investigation. The details of that new evidence were not revealed in court, because they involved classified information.
“Mr. Angwang asked me to emphasize today that he has not and he has never been an agent for the People’s Republic of China. Nor has he entered into any type of agreement with the government of our country to induce them to dismiss the indictment,” his lawyer, John Carman, told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Brooklyn.
“He came to this country as a Tibetan immigrant. And he has become an American citizen through the naturalization process. I would argue, as an American, he’s a great one. He has served his country honorably in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan. He is a dedicated New York City police officer,” Carman said.
Angwang was suspended from the NYPD with pay. He is still a police officer.
Outside the courtroom, Angwang thanked his supporters.
“Thanks to all the people who trusted me, who believed me since the beginning, my family, my friends, my Marine Corps brothers, my NYPD colleagues, thank you, especially my attorney,” he said.
Angwang, who was arrested in September 2020, spent roughly six months in Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center, much of that time in solitary confinement. Carman finally won his release after making four bail applications.
He caught COVID-19 during an outbreak at the MDC shortly before his February 2021 release on $2 million bond.
“I’ll say that we all remember well, of course, the fanfare with which this case was brought initially,” said Brooklyn Federal Judge Eric Komitee, who ordered the charges dismissed. “Everyone sitting in the well of this courtroom, including the court itself, owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. Carman.”