Theft Indictment Delayed

Prosecutors agreed to a six-month delay in the indictment proceedings of two former Harvard Medical School (HMS) researchers who allegedly stole invaluable research materials from HMS.

By not objecting Wednesday to the delay, prosecutors implied they will likely want to explore a settlement rather than become involved in a complex, expensive case.

Judge Robert B. Collings told the Boston Globe on Wednesday that the defense’s request for a suspension in the proceedings was “extremely unusual,” and he would need “pretty strong reasons” to consent to it.

Jiangyu Zhu, 30, and Kayoko Kimbara, 32, were arrested last month for stealing sensitive research materials from their 1999 project designed to help transplant recipients’ bodies not reject transplanted organs.

Both Zhu and Kimbara have been charged with theft of trade secrets, conspiracy and transportation of stolen property.

Kimbara and Zhu face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.

Kimbara’s attorney Dan Marmalefsky told the Globe that his clients maintain their innocence.

“Once the government has had a full opportunity to hear our point of view, it will agree that our clients have done nothing wrong and that no crime has been committed,” he said.

Jonathan M. Schleder contributed to the reporting of this story.