BOSTON (AP) — A Harvard University professor pleaded not guilty Tuesday to lying about his ties to a Chinese-run recruitment program.

Charles Lieber appeared via videoconference before a federal court magistrate judge in Boston because of the coronavirus pandemic. He didn’t speak, other than to answer questions from the judge and enter his not guilty plea.

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Harvard Professor Charles Lieber in Jerusalem on May 13, 2012. (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/GettyImages)

Lieber, the former chair of the department of chemistry and chemical biology, was arrested in January on allegations that he hid his involvement in China’s Thousand Talents Plan, a program designed to recruit people with knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property to China.

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He was indicted this month by a federal grand jury on two counts of making false statements to authorities, a charge that calls for up to five years in prison if he is convicted.

Lieber’s lawyer, Marc Mukasey, said in an email last week that “the government has this wrong” and that “when justice is done, Charlie’s good name will be restored.”

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