Switzerland has agreed to extradite a Chinese researcher to the United States where prosecutors have charged him with helping his scientist sister steal secrets allegedly worth $550 million from British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, reported Reuters.
Gongda Xue, a 20-year Swiss resident, has been fighting extradition and was labeled a potential flight risk after he was detained by Swiss authorities earlier this year. The Swiss Federal Office of Justice confirmed on Wednesday that the US request for his extradition was approved earlier this month, though Gongda still has until mid-August to appeal to the Swiss Federal Criminal Court to block it.
The Basel-area researcher, who worked at Switzerland’s Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research until 2014, is the brother of Yu “Joyce” Xue, a Chinese-American scientist who last August pleaded guilty at the US District Court in Pennsylvania to stealing secrets from a facility of GlaxoSmithKline.
Gongda faces up to 20 years in a US prison if convicted. According to the US indictment, he received stolen GSK secrets from his sister, performed tests at Miescher’s facilities and sent results to accomplices in China.