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Libby found guilty in CIA leak trial

[JURIST] breaking story The jury presiding over the perjury trial of former vice-presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby [defense website; JURIST news archive] returned a guilty verdict Tuesday after 10 days of deliberation in the case that began [JURIST report] January 23. Libby faced perjury and obstruction of justice charges [indictment, PDF; JURIST report] in connection with the investigation into the leak of the identity of former CIA operative Valerie Plame [JURIST news archive; Wikipedia profile]. He was found guilty on four of five counts.

US District Judge Reggie B. Walton [official profile] dismissed a juror [JURIST report] last week after finding she had been exposed to information about the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive] over the previous weekend. Deliberations continued with just 11 jurors, despite the availability of two alternate jurors. Earlier this week, Walton refused to answer a jury question [JURIST reports] on the level of proof that would have to be met to find Libby guilty. The jury wanted to know whether in order to satisfy the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt they had to find it would not be "humanly" possible" for Libby to completely forget conversations which witnesses had testified took place. Walton determined the question was too vague to be properly answered.

Libby's defense team rested [JURIST report] February 15, one week after the prosecution finished presenting [JURIST report] its evidence against Libby. Lawyers subsequently made their closing arguments [JURIST report] February 20 in which the defense argued that Libby was a scapegoat for presidential aide Karl Rove's disclosures, while the prosecution argued in its final remarks that Libby was merely trying to a cover up a potentially illegal intelligence leak.

12:35 PM ET - Libby faces a possible 30-year prison sentence after being convicted of two counts of perjury, one count of lying to the FBI and one count of obstruction of justice. He was acquitted on one count of lying to the FBI. Libby is scheduled to be sentenced on June 5. AP has more.

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