A Michigan man spied on behalf of the former Iraqi government for about a year ahead of the 2003 invasion by US-led coalition forces, federal authorities said Tuesday night.
A federal grand jury indictment accuses Najib Shemami, 58, of four espionage-related charges for activity between March 2002 and early 2003, according to a joint statement by the U.S. attorney's office in Detroit and the FBI.
The statement says Shemami acted as a spy under the government of Saddam Hussein, conspiring "with others to act as an agent of the government of Iraq."
Shemami's lawyer Juan Mateo told the Detroit Free Press: "I've known the family for many years now. They are a hardworking Chaldean family that, in my opinion, would never do anything to hurt the United States."