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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 July 2007, 06:54 GMT 07:54 UK
CIA leak trial: At-a-glance
Vice-President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, faced trial in Washington charged with lying to investigators in a highly sensitive case that has roiled the US capital.

He was found guilty of four of the five counts against him and sentenced to 30 months in prison. President George W Bush later intervened to commute Libby's sentence.

Lewis "Scooter" Libby entering court on 16 Jan 2007
Libby is the only person charged over the leak investigation
The prosecution said Libby tried to block an investigation into who revealed that the wife of a White House critic was secretly a CIA agent.

No-one was ever charged with the leak itself, but the prosecution said Libby was part of a cover-up.

His defence argued that his inconsistent testimony to investigators was the result of honest lapses in the memory of a very busy public official.

Here, we summarise the most important developments in the trial as it progressed.

Monday, 2 July 2007

President Bush intervenes to commute Libby's sentence, describing it as "excessive".

Though no longer required to go to jail, Libby is still due to serve the probation period and pay the fine.

Earlier, a US appeals court refuses to delay Libby's jail sentence. His supporters call on President Bush to pardon him.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Libby is told by Judge Walton he cannot delay starting his jail term while he appeals against his conviction.

Libby's lawyers say they will seek an emergency order delaying his prison sentence. They are also appealing against Libby's conviction.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Libby is sentenced to 30 months in jail and fined $250,000 (125,000).

Judge Walton also places Libby on probation for two years following his release from prison.

Libby remains free pending an appeal hearing.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

The jury finds Libby guilty on four of the five counts against him. Libby's defence attorney, Ted Wells, says he will request a new trial - a common tactic - and if it is denied, will appeal against the verdict.

Sentencing is set for 5 June. Libby is fingerprinted and released on his own recognizance.

Monday, 26 February

The judge dismisses one juror - an older woman who works at an art gallery - after she admits to coming into contact with material about the trial at the weekend.

The defence says it is happy to continue with only 11 jurors, while the prosecution says it would prefer 12. (There are two alternates who may be available to join the jury, although that would mean restarting deliberations from the beginning.)

The judge decides to continue with 11.

Wednesday, 21 February

Judge Reggie B Walton gives the jury about an hour of instruction on legal issues related to the case and sends them out to decide their verdict. They will meet from 0900 to 1700, with an hour for lunch, each weekday until they reach a verdict on all five counts.

Tuesday, 20 February

Prosecution and defence make their closing arguments.

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald summarises his case bluntly for the jury: Libby "made a gamble. He lied. Don't you think the FBI and the grand jury and the American people are entitled to straight answers?"

Lead defence lawyer Theodore Wells responds with an emotional plea: "This is a man with a wife and two children. He is a good person. He's been under my protection for the last month. I give him to you. Give him back to me."

Wednesday, 14 February

Judge Reggie Walton denies a defence request to recall journalist Tim Russert for additional testimony. He also says that, as Libby will not testify, Libby's former CIA briefers cannot testify.

Defence lawyers make a final speech about Libby's national security responsibilities at the White House, then rest their case.

Tuesday, 13 February

The defence announces that neither Libby nor Vice-President Cheney will testify. Judge Walton asks Libby to confirm that he is giving up his right to speak in his own defence, prompting his only utterance in court: "Yes, sir."

John Hannah, who worked for Libby at the White House testifies that the defendant "had an awful memory" - a key part of the defence case.

Monday, 12 February

Some of Washington's best-known journalists take the stand as the defence of Libby begins.

Bob Woodward and Walter Pincus of the Washington Post and David Sanger of the New York Times testify that Libby did not tell them about Valerie Plame, the wife of administration critic Joseph Wilson.

Mr Woodward plays out a tape of former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage revealing Ms Plame's identity to him.

Robert Novak - who was the first to publish that Ms Plame worked for the CIA - also testifies for the defence.

The defence seems to be trying to persuade the jury that Libby did not leak Ms Plame's identity as part of a deliberate White House strategy to attack Mr Wilson.

Thursday, 8 February

Lawyers for the defence continue to question prosecution witness NBC journalist Tim Russert.

They ask him why he told an FBI agent about a July 2003 conversation with Libby, but later said in a sworn statement that he would not testify about the conversation because it was confidential.

Mr Russert says he viewed the FBI conversation and the subpoena differently.

The prosecution then rests its case.

Wednesday, 7 February

The prosecution calls its final scheduled witness, NBC journalist Tim Russert, who contradicts previously secret testimony given by Mr Libby to a grand jury in 2004.

Mr Russert tells the court he never discussed the identity of Ms Plame with Libby, who has asserted that Mr Russert told him Ms Plame's identity. (The five charges against Libby revolve around what he told investigators about how and when he learned of Ms Plame.)

Defence lawyers question Mr Russert's account, suggesting that as a reporter, Mr Russert would have wanted to discuss the issue during a telephone conversation with Libby as the story broke in 2003.

Tuesday, 6 February

The trial continues to hear some of the more than six hours of audio tapes of Libby's secret grand jury testimony.

Libby is heard saying he learned about Ms Plame from Vice-President Cheney, forgot about her, then learned about her again from Mr Russert several weeks later.

Libby is also heard repeatedly saying he cannot remember details of conversations other officials have said they had with him.

Monday, 5 February

Prosecutors begin to play audio tapes of Libby's secret grand jury testimony dating from March 2004. The testimony forms key evidence in the charges against him.

On one tape, investigator Patrick Fitzgerald is heard asking Libby if he understands that a person who does not tell the truth to a grand jury can be charged with perjury. Libby replies that he understands.

Judge Reggie Walton rules that the recordings of the grand jury testimony will be released publicly after the trial has finished hearing them. Libby's lawyers had argued that releasing them would "seriously threaten" his right to a fair trial.

Thursday, 1 February

Judge Reggie Walton casts doubt on the defence argument that the White House made a "scapegoat" of Libby, sacrificing him to protect President Bush's political guru Karl Rove.

The judge allows the prosecution to play portions of videos of briefings by former White House press spokesman Scott McClellan in which he denies either Libby or Mr Rove was behind the leak.

Later, FBI agent Deborah Bond - one of the investigators into the leak - says Libby did not tell her of many conversations he had had with reporters about Valerie Plame before he claims he learned from NBC newsman Tim Russert that she worked for the CIA.

The defence presses Ms Bond to acknowledge Libby had said he was uncertain about his memory and needed to consult notes to be sure of his facts.

Wednesday, 31 January

Libby's lawyers cross-examine former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who a day earlier said he had twice told her Ms Plame worked for the CIA before he claims to have learned that fact.

Under cross-examination, she admits that she cannot be "absolutely, absolutely certain" that she first heard about Ms Plame - the wife of Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson - from Libby.

Former Time magazine White House correspondent Matt Cooper takes the stand after Ms Miller.

He says he first learned of Ms Plame from Mr Rove and that Libby confirmed her identity for him on 12 July 2003.

Testifying for the prosecution, he says Libby told him "I've heard that too" when he mentioned having heard from Mr Rove that Ms Plame worked for the CIA.

He says Libby did not qualify his statement in any way, although Libby said under oath he had told reporters he was only citing rumours he had heard from other journalists.

Libby's lawyers cast doubt on Mr Cooper's note-taking and memory of events, saying his testimony does not match communications he had with his editors at the time.

Tuesday, 30 January

Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller - who went to jail for 85 days to shield Libby as a confidential source - testifies that he told her on 23 June 2003 that Ms Plame worked for the CIA.

That is three weeks before Libby claims to have learned the information from NBC journalist Tim Russert.

Earlier, Libby's successor as Vice-President Cheney's chief of staff, David Addington, says Libby told him in September 2003: "I didn't do it."

Mr Addington says he did not ask Libby what "it" was.

Monday, 29 January

Ari Fleischer, President Bush's former press spokesman, testifies that Libby told him that Ms Plame worked for the CIA on 7 July 2003.

He says Libby mentioned the connection matter-of-factly, adding that it was "hush-hush".

The former spokesman says he revealed it to two journalists, one from NBC and one from Time, on 11 July 2003, not realising it was classified.

The defence attempts to cast doubt on Mr Fleischer's memory of events. He stands by most of his statements, but admits that he is not certain Libby used Ms Plame's name in the 7 July conversation.

Mr Fleischer obtained immunity from prosecution for the leak in a deal with prosecutors in February 2004.

Thursday, 25 January

Vice-President Cheney's former spokeswoman Catherine Martin, a prosecution witness, testifies that she personally told Libby and Mr Cheney that Ms Plame worked for the CIA several days before Libby claims to have heard of the association from Mr Russert.

She says Mr Cheney ordered her to monitor media coverage of Ms Plame's husband Joseph Wilson after he emerged as an administration critic.

But she says neither Mr Cheney nor Libby suggested leaking Ms Plame's identity as part of a strategy to rebut Mr Wilson's attacks.

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald says that he offered former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony - without first knowing what Mr Fleischer knew, an arrangement the defence calls highly unusual.

Wednesday, 24 January

The prosecution calls three witnesses, former senior state department official Marc Grossman; former CIA official Robert Grenier; and Craig Schmall, Libby's former CIA briefer.

All testify they had discussed Valerie Plame with Libby - contradicting his statement to investigators that he had learned about her from NBC newsman Tim Russert.

The defence seeks to exposes inconsistencies in the testimony of the three men.

Tuesday, 23 January

A jury of nine men, three women and four alternates is seated, days later than expected.

The defence blocked any potential jurors who expressed dislike of the Bush administration or its conduct of the war, since Vice-President Cheney is expected to testify on Libby's behalf and the defence does not want jurors who already do not trust him.

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald says in his opening statement that Libby had lied about conversations he had had with reporters.

The prosecution says Libby had claimed he had learned from journalists that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent and was married to White House critic Joseph Wilson, when in fact he was providing that information to the media.

Defence lawyer Theodore Wells responds with a surprising line of argument in his opening statement.

He says Libby was made a scapegoat by the White House in order to protect President Bush's chief political strategist Karl Rove, who has admitted to being a source of the original leak.


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