ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Lawyers for a former CIA officer accused of leaking names of covert operatives to journalists are telling a judge that their client is a victim of vindictive prosecution.

A hearing is scheduled Friday for John Kiriakou’s (keer-ee-AH-koo) motion to have most of the charges against him dismissed. His lawyers argue that the case is retribution for public statements by Kiriakou that portrayed the CIA in an unflattering light. They also argue that similar leaks have never been the subject of a criminal prosecution.

Prosecutors say the case against Kiriakou developed normally and that prosecuting leaks when possible serves as a deterrent to others.

Kiriakou was involved in the capture of al-Qaida terrorist Abu Zubaydah, who was waterboarded. Kiriakou publicly confirmed the waterboarding and expressed conflicting opinions about its effectiveness.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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