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Ex-CIA officer expected to plead guilty to some charges in leak case

By Carol Cratty, CNN Senior Producer
updated 9:54 PM EDT, Mon October 22, 2012
 Former CIA officer John Kiriakou leaves court in January.
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou leaves court in January.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • John Kiriakou is scheduled to appear Tuesday morning for a change of plea hearing
  • He's accused of disclosing classified information to reporters, lying to review board
  • One charge involves 2002 operation that resulted in capture of alleged al Qaeda terrorist

(CNN) -- A former CIA officer accused of disclosing classified information to reporters and lying to a review board about material in a book he wrote is expected to plead guilty to some charges on Tuesday.

John Kiriakou, is scheduled to appear Tuesday morning for a change of plea hearing at U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, but the court docket on the case does not reveal the charges to which Kiriakou will admit guilt.

A five-count indictment brought against Kiriakou in April included charges that he illegally identified two people to reporters: a covert intelligence officer and an analyst.

The specific allegations brought by the government were one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, three charges under the Espionage Act for disclosing national defense information to people not authorized to receive it and one court of making false statements to a CIA review board about material in his book.

One of the charges of illegally identifying a person concerned an analyst identified in the indictment as Officer B, who was involved in the 2002 operation that resulted in the capture of alleged al Qaeda terrorist Abu Zubaydah.

Zubaydah is one of three detainees the CIA later admitted waterboarding during interrogations. A government report revealed the simulated drowning technique was used on him 83 times. Zubaydah has yet to be charged by the U.S. government and is incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Kiriakou worked for the CIA from 1990 to 2004. He and a co-author wrote a book, "The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror." According to the indictment, Kiriakou lied when he submitted a draft of the manuscript to the CIA in 2008 and claimed an investigative technique discussed in the book was fabricated.

The court document quotes an e-mail Kiriakou sent to his co-author, who was not named in the indictment, which said in part, "I said some things were fictionalized when in fact they weren't. There's no way they're going to go through years of cable traffic to see if it's fictionalized, so we might get some things through."

A CIA review board goes over all books and other writings by former or current CIA employees to guard against any disclosure of classified material.

If convicted on all five charges in the original indictment, Kiriakou faces up to 45 years in prison. It is not known what sentence Kiriakou might receive in an apparent plea deal.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, would not comment on Tuesday's scheduled court proceeding.

CNN was unable to reach a lawyer representing Kiriakou Monday evening.

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