WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A newspaper reporter has been found in contempt of court for not revealing his sources regarding allegations a U.S. nuclear scientist gave away secrets.
Walter Pincus, of the Washington Post, was told by U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer he must say who gave him information regarding Wen Ho Lee, a scientist formerly at the Los Alamos, N.M., nuclear weapons laboratory, the newspaper said.
The contempt citation doesn't carry the threat of jail time, but Pincus could be fined $500 a day until he complies. He was given 30 days to appeal the decision. The reporter and newspaper executives did not issue statements about the ruling.
Collyer said Lee has a right to know who gave information about him or else his lawsuit against the U.S. government could not go forward. Reporters from four other news organizations have been held in contempt in the case, the Post said.
Lee at one time was charged with smuggling weapons information to China, but most of the charges were dropped when the scientist pleaded guilty in 2000 of mishandling computer files. Lee has since sued the government for federal privacy law violations.