- The Washington Times - Friday, February 21, 2003

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 21 (UPI) — Former Air Force intelligence analyst Brian Regan was convicted of three counts of attempted espionage in a federal court and the jury will reconvene to determine whether Regan's crimes make him eligible for the death penalty.

Regan, 40, was found guilty Thursday of trying to sell U.S. classified information to Iraq and China. The conviction on the allegation regarding Iraq carries a possible death penalty. Regan was acquitted of trying to sell information to Libya but was found guilty of illegally collecting national defense information.

According to The Washington Post, the jury was split on whether the death penalty should be considered in the case. U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee told the jury to return Monday to reconsider that issue. If sentenced to die, Regan would be the first person in some 50 years given a death sentence for an espionage conviction.

The newspaper said that by not being able to decide on whether the death penalty is applicable in the Regan case, it remained unclear whether the former Air Force analyst's conviction on the Iraq charge would stand or if he would need to be retried on that count.

Should the 12 jurors decide the death penalty is applicable, the jury would hear a death-penalty phase that would include arguments from both sides and additional deliberations. If the death penalty is not considered appropriate, Regan could be sentenced to life in prison for the Iraq charge. Exact penalties for the other allegations are yet to be determined, the Post said.

Regan was arrested in August 2001 as he tried to get on a plane bound for Switzerland. Federal authorities said Regan was holding information regarding missile sites in China and Iraq when he was arrested. They charged that Regan had offered the information to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein for $13 million. Investigators said a copy of the letter, and a similar one to Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, on Regan's laptop computer.

The Post said defense attorneys had argued that Regan may have mishandled classified information but did not mean to hurt the United States.

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