Former Cheney aide sentenced to 30 months in prison (1st Lead)
Jun 5, 2007, 16:15 GMT
Washington - The former top aide to US Vice President Dick Cheney was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in prison for obstructing an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative's name in the lead up to the Iraq war.
I Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Cheney's former chief of staff, will spend 30 months in prison and will also pay a 250,000 fine, CNN reported.
Libby was found guilty in March of perjury, obstruction and lying to investigators about the leak.
At issue was whether Libby, 56, lied to the grand jury and to FBI investigators probing whether US administration officials intentionally leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame to retaliate for her husband's criticism of the Iraq war.
Plame's husband, former US diplomat Joseph Wilson, alleges that the White House intentionally blew his wife's CIA cover.
Her name appeared in print on July 14, 2003, shortly after Wilson wrote a newspaper article discounting one of the US administration's war arguments - that Saddam Hussein's Iraq sought to obtain yellowcake uranium from the African country of Niger.
Exposing the identity of a CIA official can be a crime. Libby was not charged with leaking Plame's name to the media but with hampering the probe into who did. He resigned in 2005 after being indicted.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur