Bail hearing set for former Hydro-Quebec worker alleged to have sent secrets to China

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Bail hearing set for former Hydro-Quebec employee charged with spying for China
WATCH: A former Hydro-Quebec employee charged with economic espionage for the benefit of China will have a bail hearing next week. Yuesheng Wang, 35, was arrested earlier this week and remains in RCMP detention – Nov 18, 2022

A bail hearing was set Friday for a former Hydro-Québec employee charged with espionage for allegedly obtaining trade secrets for the Chinese government.

Yuesheng Wang, 35, will be back in court with the help of a Mandarin translator next week on Nov. 23 and 24 in Longueuil, Que., just south of Montreal. He first appeared in court Tuesday and has been detained at RCMP headquarters since his arrest Monday.

The accused is the first person in Canada charged with economic espionage under the Security of Information Act. Wang is also charged with three violations of the Criminal Code: the unauthorized use of computer, fraud for obtaining trade secrets and breach of trust by a public officer.

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Federal prosecutors have asked for bail to be denied, telling the court the Crown fears that Wang is a flight risk. It is their position that “detention is necessary to ensure to ensure the accused’s attendance in court,” a spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada said in an email Friday.

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READ MORE: Hydro-Quebec employee charged with alleged espionage for China: RCMP

The offences are alleged to have taken place between February 2018 and October 2022. The espionage charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Earlier this week, the RCMP said its national security enforcement team began an investigation in August after receiving a complaint from Hydro-Québec’s corporate security branch. Wang allegedly conducted research for Chinese universities and filed patents based on the results that undermined the provincial Crown corporation’s intellectual property.

Hydro-Québec said Wang was a researcher who worked on battery materials with the Centre of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage. Its security team launched its own investigation before quickly flagging authorities.

— with files from Global News’ Phil Carpenter, Annabelle Olivier, Aaron D’Andrea and The Canadian Press

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