General David Petraeus sentenced to probation

Former CIA director David Petraeus, whose career was destroyed by an extramarital affair with his biographer, arrives for sentencing at the federal courthouse in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, April 23, 2015. Petraeus is expected to plead guilty to sharing top government secrets with his biographer. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Former CIA director and retired US general David has appeared in court on charges of leaking secrets to a mistress who was writing his biography.

attended sentencing in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday after already agreeing to plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of unauthorised removal and retention of classified material.

David Kendall, ‘ lawyer, had no comment ahead of the plea and sentencing hearing.

As part of an agreement filed with prosecutors in March, the government will not seek any prison time.

Instead, will agree to pay a $40,000 fine and receive two years of probation, according to court documents.

Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington, said the fine of $40,000 was about a third of what collects for making a single public speech.

“By striking this plea deal it has allowed to avoid an embarrassing trial,” Halkett said.

A retired four-star army general who led US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, Petraeus agreed not to contest a set of facts laid out by the government as part of the deal.

Prosecutors have alleged that while the general’s biographer, Paula Broadwell, was writing her book in 2011, gave her eight binders of classified material he had improperly kept from his time in Afghanistan.

Days later, he reportedly took the binders back to his house.

Among the secret information contained in the “black books” were the names of covert operatives, the coalition war strategy and notes about ‘ discussions with President Barack Obama and the National Security Council, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said that after resigning from the CIA in November 2012, had signed a form falsely attesting he had no classified material.

He also lied to FBI agents by denying he supplied the information to Broadwell, according to court documents.

On April 5, 2013, the FBI searched his home and seized the black books from an unlocked desk drawer in a first-floor study.

Civil liberties and government transparency advocates say the government’s lenient treatment of suggests prosecutors maintain double standards.

Other leak case defendants have received harsher punishments, such as former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who was sent to prison.

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