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 Prosecutor: Alleged Maui spy is difficult but sane

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Join date : 2009-10-20
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PostSubject: Prosecutor: Alleged Maui spy is difficult but sane   Sun 22 Nov 2009, 12:47 am

This story does not sound right. I've surely been watching too many The Prisoner episodes.

Prosecutor: Alleged Maui spy is difficult but sane


Associated Press Writer

Maui man accused of spying for China is difficult to work with and
makes wild exaggerations but is legally able to stand trial, a federal
prosecutor asserted Friday.But at the close of a competency hearing,
the lawyer for Noshir Gowadia contended the defendant suffers from
narcissistic personality disorder, which causes him to make grandiose
statements and to consider himself better than others."These
delusions are affecting his ability to assist us in his own defense,"

Birney Bervar, Gowadia's lawyer, told U.S. Magistrate Kevin S.C. Chang
during closing arguments.Prosecutors have said Gowadia used Maui
as a base to design a stealth cruise missile for China. He faces 21
counts of conspiracy, money-laundering and falsifying tax returns,
which also assert that he offered to sell classified stealth technology
to foreign business people in Israel, Germany and Switzerland.

He has pleaded not guilty.During the day-and-a half-long competency
hearing, both the prosecution and the defense portrayed Gowadia as a
brilliant if conceited scientist who has contributed to many military
projects while working for defense contractor Northrop Corp., now
Northrop Grumman Corp. Some of the projects were well-known, such as
the B-2 stealth bomber, and others remain classified.

Two expert witnesses for the defense and one for the government
agreed Gowadia has narcissistic personality disorder. Gowadia considers
himself intellectually superior and makes fantastical statements that contain
some truth, they said.

The lawyers for both sides agreed that Gowadia is aware of his legal
circumstances - one of two requirements if he is to be found competent.
But they diverged on whether he can adequately assist in his own defense,
the other requirement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Sorenson told Chang that Gowadia
is a difficult defendant because he is an intelligent, high-functioning
individual. But his personality disorder does not rise to the level of a
mental defect that would prevent him from working ably with his lawyers,
Sorenson added.He challenged the conclusions of the defense's expert
witnesses that Gowadia is incompetent, calling them flawed.

Moreover, Sorenson suggested that the competency hearing was a
legal ploy."The defense has an agenda," he said. "It isn't competency.
It's trial avoidance."But Bervar cited Friday's testimony by Dr. Pablo
Stewart, a psychiatry professor at the University of California, San
Francisco, that Gowadia was incompetent to stand trial.

Stewart said he could not pinpoint a basis for Gowadia's condition during
his five-hour examination in March. But narcissistic personality disorder
is a likely cause, he added. His testimony supported that of Richard Rogers, a
forensic psychology professor at the University of North Texas, who
testified Thursday for the defense.

And Bervar challenged the testimony of prosecution witness Lisa Hope,
a clinical and forensic psychologist for the federal Bureau of Prisons in Los Angeles.
Hope testified Thursday that Gowadia's claim of an IQ of 210 was only
exaggeration, even though the IQ scale does not go that high."Incredibly,
she says that is not delusional," Bervar said.

Chang's recommendation to Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway is
expected in the next week or so. Gowadia faces a closed hearing on
classified evidence early next month.
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