Defense contractor denied bail

Published On: Mar 25 2013 09:44:00 PM HST

A Makakilo man accused of sharing top secret military information will remain behind bars for now.

A federal judge denied him bail, saying he's a danger to national security.

Fifty-nine-year-old Benjamin Bishop and his attorney were hoping for a favorable decision.

"I agreed with the judge Friday he no longer had access to security clearance and did not pose as a flight risk or danger except for what was in his mind.  I don't think that's sufficient grounds to detain somebody," said defense attorney Birney Bervar.

Federal prosecutors say Bishop shared classified military information including nuclear secrets with a 27-year-old Chinese female nationalist he was romantically involved with during parts of the last two years.

They argued the Makakilo resident could still recall and communicate sensitive information based on the amount of security clearance Bishop previously had while working at the U.S. Pacific Command.

"The government gives security clearance and gives access to documents.  So anyone who possesses clearance and is charged with violating that clearance by the government's theory should be locked up?  For how long? Forever?" asked Bervar.

The Department of Justice has not spoken publicly about Bishop since announcing his arrest last week but said in court Bishop "cannot be trusted."

Bishop's attorney is already discussing an appeal despite the setback.

"He believes he's being treated fairly.  He repeats, 'I'm  a patriotic American.  I believe in the system,'" said Bervar.

Bishop is also charged with one count of unlawfully retaining national defense documents at his residence.

If convicted of the two charges, Bishop could face up to twenty years in federal prison.


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