Pair jailed for leaking Oval Office memo

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Two British men have been jailed for leaking a top secret government memo of talks between George Bush and Tony Blair.

Civil servant David Keogh was today sentenced to six months in prison for two offences under the Official Secrets Act, while Leo O'Connor, an MP's researcher, was handed a three-month jail sentence after being found guilty on one count under the act.

The three-week Old Bailey trial, which returned verdicts yesterday, was shrouded in secrecy from the beginning, with media and public access restricted when sensitive details were discussed in court.

Judge Mr Justice Aikens told the jurors: "The information you heard in camera, including the contents of the letter and what was said by witnesses about the consequences of the disclosure of the letter, remain confidential – it remains secret."

It is thought the April 2004 Oval Office memo details talks between the US president and British prime minister over the security handover to the Iraqi army and operations in Fallujah.

The prosecution successfully claimed that the document threatened the UK's international standing and put its soldiers at risk, but in his defence, Keogh had argued that his intention had been to embarrass Mr Bush and give MPs the opportunity to discuss the talks in the House of Commons.

The memo first surfaced after Keogh handed a copy to O'Connor at a dining club in their native Northampton in May 2004.

It then arrived at the desk of Northampton South MP Anthony Clarke, who contacted police as a result.

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