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Last Updated: Monday, 19 January, 2004, 11:43 GMT
Ex-GCHQ officer faces leak charge
Katharine Gun
Katharine Gun is a former translator at GCHQ in Cheltenham
A British intelligence officer charged with leaking a top secret e-mail is to appear at the Old Bailey next month.

Katharine Gun, who worked at the government communications headquarters (GCHQ), has been charged under the Official Secrets Act.

The former translator claims she leaked an e-mail from US spies asking British counterparts to tap telephones to prevent the "illegal" war in Iraq.

The case was transferred from Bow Street Magistrates' Court for a hearing at the Old Bailey on 16 February.

She was sacked from GCHQ last June.

She is alleged to have leaked the memo to the Observer newspaper which ran an article in March claiming GCHQ had been asked to help spy on the six countries, which were all key to the passing of a second UN resolution on Iraq.

Ms Gun has justified the disclosures saying in a statement that she had "only ever followed her conscience".


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