Washington: A US district court in
Virginia has indicted a former CIA officer for allegedly
leaking classified information to journalists.
John Kiriakou, 47, was charged with one count of
violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act for
allegedly disclosing the identity of a covert officer and with
three counts of violating the Espionage Act for allegedly
disclosing national defense information to individuals
un-authorized to receive it.
In a statement, the Department of Justice said, the
indictment also charges him with one count of making false
statements for allegedly lying to the Publications Review
Board of the CIA in an unsuccessful attempt to trick the
agency into allowing him to include classified information in
a book he was seeking to publish.
Kiriakou was a CIA intelligence officer between 1990 and
He remains free on bond and is expected to be arraigned
on April 13.
The charges of leaking secrets each carry a potential
prison term of 10 years, while the false statements charge
carries a possible five-year prison sentence.
The charges result from an investigation that was
triggered by a classified defense filing in January 2009,
which contained classified information the defense had not
been given through official government channels, and, in part,
by the discovery in the spring of 2009 of photographs of
certain government employees and contractors in the materials
of high-value detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The investigation revealed that, on multiple occasions,
one of the journalists to whom Kiriakou is alleged to have
illegally disclosed classified information, in turn, disclosed
that information to a defense team investigator, and that this
information was reflected in the classified defense filing and
enabled the defense team to take or obtain surveillance
photographs of government personnel.
The indictment alleges that Kiriakou made illegal
disclosures about two CIA employees and their involvement in
classified operations to two journalists on multiple occasions
between 2007 and 2009.
In one case, by revealing an employee?s name as a CIA
officer, Kiriakou allegedly disclosed classified information ?
as the employee was and remains covert (identified in the
indictment as "Covert Officer A").
In the second case, Kiriakou allegedly disclosed the name
and contact information of another CIA employee, identified in
the indictment as "Officer B," whose participation in an
operation to capture terrorism subject Abu Zubaydah in 2002
was then classified.
Kiriakou’s alleged disclosures occurred prior to a June
2008 front-page story in The New York Times disclosing Officer
Bs alleged role in the Abu Zubaydah operation.