Former CIA officer accused of spying for China says he has memory problems – .

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Former CIA officer accused of spying for China says he has memory problems – .


HONOLULU – Former CIA officer accused of spying for China requests mental skills assessment after telling lawyer he thinks he suffers from early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and has hard to remember things.

Alexander Yuk Ching Ma, a former CIA officer and contract linguist for the FBI, was arrested last year after an undercover operation in which prosecutors said he accepted thousands of dollars in cash in exchange of his past espionage activities. He told a law enforcement officer posing as a Chinese intelligence officer that he wanted to see the ‘homeland’ succeed and that he was eager to start helping China again after the pandemic ended. coronavirus, prosecutors said.

Ma’s court-appointed attorney Birney Bervar said Thursday he felt compelled to file a petition for a mental skills assessment after meeting Ma a few weeks ago.

“Ma said he just couldn’t remember things and thought it interfered with his ability to properly assist in his defense,” the motion said.

Bervar’s motion also noted that Ma’s older brother developed Alzheimer’s disease 10 years ago and is now completely disabled by the disease. The brother is called a co-conspirator in the indictment against Ma, but prosecutors have not charged him due to his incompetence due to Alzheimer’s disease, according to the petition.

A magistrate has scheduled a hearing for Aug. 12 on the motion.

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