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U.S. seeks to extradite B.C. resident accused of stealing jet secrets

B.C. resident Su Bin, 48, was denied bail last month and has been held in custody while lawyers awaited an extradition request from U.S. authorities.

U.S. officials have filed the necessary paperwork to have a B.C. resident from Beijing extradited over allegations that he stole fighter-jet secrets from Pentagon contractors and conspired to sell them to Chinese companies.

Su Bin, 48, was denied bail last month and has been held in custody while lawyers awaited an extradition request from U.S. authorities.

That request, called a record of the case, has been submitted within the mandatory 60 days of Mr. Su's arrest, Canadian and U.S. officials have confirmed. Canada's Minister of Justice now has 30 days to review the request before the case can proceed, according to a spokeswoman for Justice Canada.

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Mr. Su made a brief video appearance in a Vancouver courtroom Wednesday. His case has been adjourned until Sept. 24.

Mr. Su is charged in the U.S. with conspiring to gain unauthorized access to a protected computer. It's alleged that he directed two Chinese hackers to steal files from the computers of Boeing Co. and other companies, and then conspired – in a series of e-mails – to sell the secrets to Chinese aviation firms. If found guilty, Mr. Su faces a maximum penalty of 10 years behind bars.

In a separate proceeding, Canadian officials are attempting to strip Mr. Su of his permanent residency status, claiming he has spent too much time outside the country. Mr. Su has appealed and a hearing in that case is yet to be held. Defence lawyer Mark Jette had argued during Mr. Su's bail hearing that the landed immigrant has deep ties to Canada. He first arrived in the country in 2002 and now owns a $2-million home near the airport in Richmond, B.C., that is inhabited by his wife and their two children.

Mr. Su runs an aviation technology company called Lode-Tech in Beijing. According to a website that belongs to the Beijing Administration of Industry and Commerce, the company was fined 10,000 yuan ($1,770) in 2011 for using fraudulent information to promote itself online.

On its website, the company had listed a number of Chinese ministries as past clients, but the Beijing Administration of Industry and Commerce says many listed were not actually clients of Lode-Tech. The company was instructed to take down the fraudulent information to bring itself in line with the country's anti-unfair competition laws.

Mr. Jette said he has no knowledge of fraud allegations. He said his client is considering appealing a decision to deny him bail.

With a report from Nathan VanderKlippe

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