The Straits Times
Published on Oct 23, 2012

Ex-CIA man likely to plead guilty in leak case


WASHINGTON (AP) - A former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer accused of leaking the names of covert operatives to journalists is expected to enter a guilty plea as part of a plea deal.

A change of plea hearing was scheduled for Tuesday in United States (US) District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, for John Kiriakou. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges that he disclosed the names of two covert CIA operatives.

The apparent change comes shortly after Mr Kiriakou lost a key pre-trial ruling that established a lower legal burden for prosecutors to prove their case.

Mr Kiriakou's lawyers had argued unsuccessfully that prosecutors should have to prove that Kirkiakou intended to harm the US through his alleged leaks. Such a strict legal standard had been imposed recently on a leaks prosecution against two pro-Israel lobbyists.