U.S. Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin was formally charged Wednesday with passing classified military information about Iraq to two former officials of the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC.
Franklin, 58, an analyst on the Iranian desk in the Pentagon, turned himself in to the FBI on Wednesday morning.Ã‚Â
U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. released Franklin on $100,000 bond on condition he surrender his firearms and passport.
FranklinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lawyer said he expects his client will plead innocent. If convicted he faces up to 10 years in prison.
former AIPAC officials, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, who allegedly received the classified information, are expected to be interrogated, as well as on the activities of the lobbying group.
Rosen and Weissman were fired by AIPAC last month.
The charge sheet did say explicitly that Franklin told the two that the material he was giving them was top secret.
‘Steve Rosen never solicited, received or passed on any classified documents from Larry Franklin, and Mister Franklin will never be able to say otherwise,’ Rosen’s attorney, said Wednesday.
‘There is probable cause to believe that Lawrence Anthony Franklin knowingly and unlawfully disclosed classified information relating to the national security defense, that is, with reason to believe that it could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation,’ said Special FBI Agent Catherine Hanna.
On June 30, 2004, the FBI searched Franklin’s home, finding 83 documents of various levels of classification being held at his house illegally.