Report: Ex-CIA agent to plead guilty

Oct. 22, 2012 at 8:51 PM
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ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Former U.S. CIA officer John Kiriakou will skip a trial and plead guilty to espionage and obstruction-of-justice charges Tuesday, a court document indicates.

NPR reported Monday the "change of plea" hearing for Kiriakou on the U.S. District Court docket in Alexandria, Va., follows a recent ruling by Judge Leonie Brinkema that seriously weakened Kiriakou's defense.

The judge said prosecutors don't have to prove Kiriakou meant to harm the United States by telling a reporter the identity and anti-terror program duties of a covert agent. Instead, the Justice Department only has to show Kiriakou had "reason to believe" the leaks could hurt the United States, the public radio network said.

Kiriakou, who was a CIA operative between 1990 and 2004, was scheduled for trial Nov. 26.

He is the sixth person charged by the Obama administration under the 1917 Espionage Act.

Kiriakou's attorney, Robert Trout, and a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride both declined to comment on the status of the case, NPR said.

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