ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors have won a key legal ruling in their case against a former CIA officer accused of leaking the names of covert operatives to journalists.
Prosecutors will not have to prove that John Kiriakou (keer-ee-AH'-koo) actually intended to harm the United States by allegedly leaking the covert officers' identities. Instead, they will only have to show that Kiriakou had "reason to believe" that the information could be used to injure the U.S.
U.S. District Judge Leonie (LAY'-uh-nee) Brinkema in Alexandria issued the ruling Tuesday.
Kiriakou's lawyers argued for the stricter "intent-to-harm" standard that was applied recently in a leak case against two pro-Israel lobbyists.
But prosecutors said the stricter standard should not be applied to a government employee who was on notice about the importance of protecting classified information.