ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Lawyers for a former CIA officer convicted of leaking details of a secret mission to derail Iran's nuclear ambitions say he deserves a light sentence similar to that just handed down to ex-CIA director David Petraeus.
Jeffrey Sterling of O'Fallon, Missouri, will be sentenced next month in federal court in Alexandria. On Friday, his lawyers urged a lenient sentence. They said a recommendation under federal sentencing guidelines for a term of 20 years or more is excessive.
The lawyers say similar leaks have resulted in far lighter sentences. Petraeus was sentenced Thursday to two years' probation for giving classified material to his biographer and former mistress. Former CIA veteran John Kiriakou received a sentence of 2 ½ years for leaking a covert officer's identity.
Prosecutors are urging a severe sentence.