Page last updated at 19:59 GMT, Monday, 30 April 2007 20:59 UK

Leaked Bush memo 'aimed at Kerry'

Civil servant David Keogh, 50, and MP's researcher Leo O'Connor, 44
David Keogh and Leo O'Connor stand trial at the Old Bailey

A civil servant who leaked a secret memo about George Bush wanted it to be seen by US presidential candidate John Kerry, the Old Bailey heard.

David Keogh, 50, from Northampton, is said to have passed a highly sensitive document detailing talks between Mr Bush and Tony Blair to Leo O'Connor.

Mr Keogh told jurors the contents of the memo had preyed on his mind.

Mr Keogh and Mr O'Connor, 44, also of Northampton, deny three charges under the Official Secrets Act.

Mr Keogh had been asked to copy out the memo for distribution to high-ranking UK officials.

The main person in my mind was John Kerry, who at the time was American candidate for the US presidential election in 2004
Defendant David Keogh

The civil servant arranged to meet Mr O'Connor at the Labour club in Northampton to arrange to leak the document, recording an Oval Office meeting between the two leaders in April 2004, jurors heard.

Giving evidence Mr Keogh told a jury that he hoped it would be used to raise questions in the House of Commons, and also that he wanted it to be used in the US.

"The main person in my mind was John Kerry, who at the time was American candidate for the US presidential election in 2004," he said.

He admitted that he had "unfavourable" views on Mr Bush, but did not think the publication of the document would have any damaging effects to Britain's defence or international relations.

"If there were it would have been purely embarrassment and not for the UK, solely for another nation."

Mr Keogh and Mr O'Connor each deny three charges of making damaging disclosures under the Official Secrets Act.

The contents of the memo are so sensitive that much of their trial is being held behind closed doors so that they cannot be heard by the public.

The trial continues.

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