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NUCLEAR-SPYING SUSPECT ASKS TO BE FREED ON BAIL

With supporters outside urging, "Justice for all," former Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee asked a federal judge Monday to free him on bail while he awaits trial on charges of mishandling nuclear secrets.

The hearing before U.S. District Judge James Parker was on a defense appeal of a magistrate judge's order denying $100,000 bail for Lee. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Parker was expected to decide whether to grant bail later in the week.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Don Svet ruled Dec. 13 that freeing Lee until his trial would pose a "clear and present danger to the national security of the United States."

Attorneys have said a trial might not be held for 10 to 12 months, but prosecutors say holding Lee without bail that long shouldn't matter.