Mascheroni case delayed as lawyers await security clearance

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By Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The case against a New Mexico physicist accused of trying to help Venezuela develop a nuclear weapon is going on hold for at least six weeks as defense attorneys await security clearances needed to review classified documents.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers discussed the delay during a status conference Friday with U.S. District Judge Bruce Black.

Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni and his wife, Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, are accused of offering to help develop a nuclear weapon for Venezuela through dealings with an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a representative of the Venezuelan government.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

The U.S. government is not alleging Venezuela or anyone working for it sought U.S. secrets.