Ex-FBI linguist jailed for 20 months for leaking documents

A former FBI contract linguist has been sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Updated: May 25, 2010, 13:50 PM IST

Washington: A former FBI contract linguist has been sentenced to 20 months in prison by a US court after he was found guilty of leaking classified documents to an Internet blogger.

40-year-old Shamai Kedem Leibowitz, aka Samuel Shamai Leibowitz, of Silver Spring, Maryland was also sentenced to another three years of supervised release by US District Judge Alexander Williams.

He was found guilty of unlawfully providing classified documents to the host of an Internet blog, who then published information from those documents on the blog.

According to Liebowitz`s plea agreement, from January through August 2009, Leibowitz was employed by the FBI as a contract linguist in an office in Calverton, Maryland.

Leibowitz held a `Top Secret` security clearance and had lawful access to classified documents and information relating to the communication intelligence activities of the US.

"In April 2009, Leibowitz caused five documents classified as Secret, which contained classified information relating to the communication intelligence activities of the United States, to be furnished to a person not entitled to receive such information," the Justice Department said.

"The recipient was the host of a public blog available to anyone with access to the Internet. The recipient then published on the blog information from the classified documents," it said.

The "sentence should serve as a warning to anyone in government who would consider compromising our nation`s secrets," said David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

PTI