NYPD Officer Baimadajie Angwang, right, and his attorney, John Carman, leave...

NYPD Officer Baimadajie Angwang, right, and his attorney, John Carman, leave Brooklyn federal court after charges against him were dismissed on Thursday. Credit: Jeff Bachner

A federal judge agreed on Thursday to dismiss an indictment against an NYPD officer accused of illegally serving ​​as an agent for the Chinese government.

U.S. District Judge Eric R. Komitee agreed to a request from federal prosecutors to dismiss criminal charges against NYPD Officer Baimadajie Angwang, a former Marine and an Army reservist who lived in Williston Park before his arrest.

Prosecutors offered no explanation in papers filed Friday asking the judge to drop the case against the NYPD officer.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Haggans also declined to explain the decision during Thursday's hearing in Brooklyn federal court, except to say it was in the "interest of justice."

“Thanks for all the people who trusted me, who believed me since the beginning,” Angwang said after he left the courthouse with his attorney, John Carman. “My family, my Marine Corps brothers, my NYPD colleagues, thank you.”

Angwang, a naturalized U.S. citizen and a native of Tibet, was charged in September 2020 with four felonies: acting as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. government, wire fraud, making false statements and obstruction of an official proceeding. 

The papers federal prosecutors filed on Friday asking Komitee to drop the charges provided little explanation why the office of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace wanted the charges dropped.

Komitee asked for an explanation at Thursday’s hearing but said he understood that prosecutors may be limited to what they could say because the decision was based in part on classified material. 

Haggans did not provide any additional information, other than to say the decision was reached after a full assessment of the information. 

“The government has been very sparing in their description of the reasons why they dismissed the indictment,” Carman said. 

Prosecutors had alleged that Angwang had informed the Chinese government about the activities of Tibetans who opposed China’s policies and actions in Tibet. He also allegedly identified individuals who might be potential recruits for Beijing. Angwang faced decades in prison if convicted on the charges. 

Carman has said his client was only providing publicly available information to get better visa terms for himself and other Tibetan nationals.

Angwang sought asylum after traveling to the United States on a cultural exchange visa, saying he had been arrested and tortured in China because of his Tibetan ancestry. After gaining asylum, he joined the Marine Corps and served in Afghanistan before receiving an honorable discharge. 

Angwang, who worked at the 111th Precinct in Bayside, Queens, has been suspended with pay while the case against him was pending.

Carman said it was possible his client could return to the NYPD. It is also possible that Angwang could take action now that he has been cleared, he said. “We are looking into that but we have made no decisions,” Carman said. 

Carman thanked Komitee for agreeing to release Angwang on bail, after four applications. Angwang was held for six months in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, Carman said, much of it in solitary confinement. 

“The truth is, Mr. Angwang was innocent from the very beginning, and you could hear from the judge’s words in court today, he was thankful that he released him two years ago, rather than granting the government’s request that he be detained,” Carman said. 

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