British officer in dock over leaking war secrets to a woman in Afghanistan

February 4th, 2009 - 2:41 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb.4 (ANI): A British Lieutenant Colonel is alleged to have leaked highly sensitive civilian casualty figures to a woman affiliated to a human rights group. A senior source told The Sun that Lt. Col. Owen McNally started passing details to her when the pair became close in Afghanistan.
The figures are controversial because critics question official estimates, claiming they play down the full horror.
Lt. Col. McNally had access to them as part of a group working for NATOs International Security Assistance Force, which masterminds operations in the country. American generals in capital Kabul are seething over the allegations.
Lt. Col McNally, 48 on a one-year posting from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers was seized by Royal Military Police and will now be flown back to the UK.
Scotland Yard detectives will then take over the investigation from the Red Caps because of the serious nature of the allegations.
Lt. Col. McNally is accused of breaching section one of the Official Secrets Act. If he is charged, he will appear in the dock at the Old Bailey, which hears all such cases. If convicted he could be jailed for up to 14 years. He joined the Army as a private in 1977 and worked his way up the ranks until he was commissioned as an officer in 1995. (ANI)

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