Former British spy guilty of secrecy breach

14th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

A former employee of Britain's foreign intelligence agency MI6 pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally disclosing the contents of intelligence files.

Daniel Houghton, 25, tried to sell the electronic files to the Netherlands for two million pounds (three million dollars, 2.4 million euros) but Dutch agents filmed him as he displayed the material and passed on the evidence to MI6, the Royal Courts of Justice on London heard.

Houghton denied a charge of stealing the electronic files, which was accepted by the court.

Judge David Bean said a prison term was "inevitable" and gave the prosecution permission to obtain a psychiatric assessment of Houghton ahead of sentencing on September 3.

The court heard that when Houghton offered the information to the Dutch agents in March, the price was negotiated down to 900,000 pounds.

But immediately after Houghton handed over the files he was arrested as he left with the cash in a suitcase.

In searches of his flat, police found a computer memory stick containing 7,000 files and paperwork marked "top secret".

© 2010 AFP

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