FBI updates FISA notice as Tsai case continues

The U.S. government’s case against two Taiwanese businessmen accused of attempting to illegally exporting machinery to North Korea continues its slow path towards a trial.

Hsien Tai “Alex” Tsai, 67, and his son, Yueh Hsun “Gary” Tsai, 36, were arrested and charged in May last year. Alex Tsai was in Estonia at the time and subsequently extradited to the U.S.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations laid out in indictments a plan to obtain and export precision metal fabrication equipment from the U.S. with assistance of several companies in Taiwan. The machinery could be used in the production of weapons of mass destruction, according to the FBI.

The U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois held a status conference on Thursday where the U.S. Government filed an updated notice of intent to use material gathered under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

An original notice filed with the court in June said the U.S. would use in the case or submit into evidence material obtained from electronic surveillance gathered under FISA.

The updated notice adds material gathered through physical surveillance authorized under FISA.

The court is scheduled to hold its next status conference in April.


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