Federal Appeals Panel to Hear CIA Leak Case

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A federal appeals panel will hear the case of an ex-CIA officer charged with leaking classified information about Iran’s nuclear program to a New York Times reporter. Federal prosecutors will ask the panel Friday to reverse a pretrial ruling limiting the scope of reporter James Risen’s testimony in the prosecution of Jeffrey Sterling. They argue that the First Amendment doesn’t shield journalists from disclosing their sources during criminal prosecutions brought in good faith. The judge ruled that Risen must testify at Sterling’s trial, but narrowed his testimony to four issues. Prosecutors say Sterling was a key source in Risen’s 2006 book, “State of War.” They’re also challenging the court’s decision to strike two government witnesses and allow disclosure of the identities of covert CIA operatives to Sterling’s lawyers.

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