Tech giant Apple told a federal court Monday it has “deep concerns” that two Chinese-born former employees, accused of stealing proprietary company secrets, will flee the country.
Prosecutors at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California hearing argued the men, Xiaolang Zhang and Jizhong Chen, should remain under monitoring as possible flight risks. Both were arrested on criminal theft charges while heading to airports to fly back to China, per Reuters, and have been monitored after being released on bail.
“Apple’s intellectual property is at the core of our innovation and growth,” Apple said in a statement to U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila. “The defendants’ continued participation in these proceedings is necessary to ensure a final determination, and we have deep concerns the defendants will not see this through if given the opportunity.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marissa Harris further argued that if the pair fled back to China, it could be difficult for federal officials to execute their extradition for a later trial.
For its part, the men's defense team said they both had family-related reasons to visit China and that they did not show signs of violating their pre-trial conditions.
Anthony DeMario, an adviser to Apple’s global security group, was present at the hearing.
This story is developing.