Appeals court scrutinizes ex-CIA officer's leak conviction

AP News
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Posted: Dec 06, 2016 11:31 AM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An attorney for a former CIA officer convicted of leaking government secrets to a reporter says prosecutors improperly introduced evidence that the ex-officer had mishandled other classified material.

Attorney William Trunk represents Jeffrey Sterling, who was convicted of providing classified details of an operation to thwart Iran's nuclear program. Sterling was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.

Trunk told a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday that prosecutors shouldn't have been allowed to show jurors other unrelated classified documents Sterling kept at his home.

Trunk said the documents weren't relevant and that prosecutors made a "spectacle" out of them to discredit Sterling's character.

Prosecutor Eric Olshan said the documents were properly admitted because they showed a pattern of similar conduct.