June 13th, 2024

Former Canadian Space Agency engineer acquitted on charge of acting for Chinese firm

By The Canadian Press on April 12, 2024.

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa, Tuesday, May 14, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

LONGUEUIL, Que. – Former Canadian Space Agency engineer Wanping Zheng has been acquitted of breach of trust at the courthouse in Longueuil, Que.

Zheng, 63, a resident of the Montreal suburb of Brossard, Que., was accused of using his position to act on behalf of Chinese aerospace company Spacety.

Quebec court Judge Marc-Antoine Carette says that while Zheng’s actions certainly warranted disciplinary measures, the Crown failed to prove he committed a crime.

The Crown alleged that Zheng had acted as a middle man for the Chinese firm by contacting two Canadian space companies to do business with it.

Zheng did not testify at the trial, but the Crown included an interview he gave to police officers after his arrest during which he defended his actions.

The court heard that Zheng had not been compensated by Spacety when he approached the Canadian companies, and that he resigned from the Canadian Space Agency in September 2019 and was later hired by the Chinese firm.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2024.

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