Friday, October 28, 2005


Cheney aide charged in CIA leak, resigns

WASHINGTON: Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff Lewis Libby was indicted on Friday on five criminal counts of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements after a two-year investigation into the leak of a covert CIA operative’s identity.

Soon after the indictment, the White House announced that Libby had resigned. Libby “submitted his resignation letter earlier today. It was accepted, and he is no longer at the White House”, spokesman Scott McClellan said.President George W Bush’s top political adviser Karl Rove was not indicted along with Libby, but special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has made clear to Rove that he remains under investigation, legal sources said.Libby, who played a major behind-the-scenes role in building the case for the Iraq war, was accused of lying in 2003 about how and when he learned and disclosed to reporters classified information about the covert operative, Valerie Plame.

If convicted, Libby faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine, prosecutors said.Plame’s identity was leaked to the media after her diplomat husband, Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of twisting prewar intelligence to support military action against Iraq. Wilson said it was done deliberately to erode his credibility. reuters

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