A judge in San Francisco has set a $2 million bond for an Oakland engineer accused of stealing trade secrets from DuPont and selling them to China.
Walter Liew has been in custody for 19 months and twice been denied bond. Liew's legal team at Keker & Van Nest pushed the latest request, arguing Liew's confinement is unreasonable and interferes with his defense.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins said he was persuaded to set bond in part because Liew has been detained for a long period and no trial date has been set. Keker partner Stuart Gasner and associate Simona Agnolucci had also proposed a larger cash surety than the previous bond requests.
Gasner said his team is "deeply appreciative." Upon release, Liew will be subject to home detention and electronic monitoring.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Hemann and Peter Axelrod plan to appeal the order, which is stayed pending review by the district judge overseeing the case.
Liew has been in custody since July 2011 and faces 12 counts related to economic espionage and witness tampering. According to prosecutors, Liew was paid $30 million to provide Chinese companies with DuPont's proprietary method for producing the industrial pigment titanium oxide.
The U.S. Attorney's Office plans to file a superseding indictment in the coming months charging Liew with money laundering, which also weighed in Cousins' decision.
"The pace of this case is directly attributable to decisions of the prosecution," he wrote. "With 19 months elapsed, discovery not yet complete, and new charges planned for the future, further detention points strongly to a denial of Mr. Liew's due process rights."