London, Nov. 4 (Reuters): Renegade British spy David Shayler was today found guilty of spilling state secrets after failing to convince a jury he was acting in public interest by accusing fellow agents of bungling and illegal activities.
Shayler, a former counter-subversives agent with the MI5 domestic intelligence agency, was convicted of breaching the Official Secrets Act after he passed top secret papers to a newspaper in 1997 in return for £40,000.
The former spy maintained that he had acted in public interest by exposing incompetence, but prosecutors claimed the papers he passed on, which included details of secret agents’ identities, were “choc-a-block” with information that could have put their lives in danger and harmed national security.
Shayler, who faces a jail sentence of up to six years, said he would take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.
He has been released on bail until tomorrow afternoon, when he will be sentenced.