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Ex-CIA agent from O'Fallon charged with leak granted bond

The seal of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. An ex-agent of the agency charged with allegedly leaking classified information to a New York Times reporter has been granted bond in Virginia. (via Flickr/ Jonathan Narvey)

A Virginia judge has granted bond to a former CIA officer from O'Fallon accused of leaking government secrets about Iran to a reporter for the New York Times.

Jeffrey Sterling had been in custody since his arrest on Jan. 6 on charges that he illegally disclosed classified documents to reporter James Risen between 2001 and 2006.

Prosecutors had initially opposed Sterling's release, arguing that he might again leak sensitive information. But at a detention hearing in Alexandria, Va., on Tuesday, a federal court judge ordered Sterling released pending trial.

The judge noted Sterling has not been a CIA employee for nearly 10 years and said if Sterling were truly a risk, the government could have indicted him years ago.

The judge set a Sept. 12 trial date.

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