Ex-Spy Sterling Gets 3 1/2 Years for Leak to Times Reporter

Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling of Missouri was sentenced Monday to 3 ½ years in prison for leaking details of a secret mission. A jury convicted Sterling in January for telling New York Times journalist James Risen about a classified plan to trick the Iranian government by slipping flawed nuclear blueprints through a Russian intermediary. Sterling was charged in 2010 but the trial was delayed for years because of legal wrangling about whether Risen could be forced to testify. Ultimately, prosecutors chose not to call Risen as a witness. Without Risen's testimony, prosecutors built a circumstantial case against Sterling. They introduced evidence showing regular contact between Risen and Sterling by phone and email.



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