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Cheney Voices Disappointment Over Libby Verdict


U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney says he is very disappointed by Tuesday's guilty verdict against his former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in a case tied to the U.S. justification to go to war in Iraq.

Libby was found guilty on four of five counts of lying, perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the investigation into who leaked the identity of former covert CIA officer Valerie Plame. She is married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who accused the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence reports to justify the 2002 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Prosecutors say Libby leaked the information as part of a coordinated White House effort to discredit Wilson.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said President Bush was saddened for Libby and his family and respects the jury's verdict.

Chief Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said it is sad that a high-level official who worked for the vice president lied and obstructed justice.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid welcomed the Libby verdict, saying it was about time someone in the Bush administration was held accountable for manipulating pre-war intelligence on Iraq and discrediting war critics.

Ted Wells, Libby's attorney, says he intends to file a motion for a new trial. If it is denied, he says will appeal the convictions. The verdict was announced after several days of deliberations by an 11-member jury.

Libby could face up to 25 years in prison and more than $1 million in fines.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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