ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) # Lawyers for a retired Air Force enlisted man accused of spying for Iraq, Libya and China argued at trial Monday that Brian Patrick Regan was guilty only of bad judgment.
But in opening statements at Regan’s espionage trial federal prosecutors countered that the defendant was willing to sell U.S. military secrets for $13 million.
Regan’s trial got under way after months of procedural haggles as 12 jurors and four alternates were seated. It is the first espionage case in 50 years that could lead to the death penalty.
A retired Air Force master sergeant accused of offering U.S. military secrets to Iraq, Libya and China for $13 million stared straight ahead, showing no expression, as attorneys gave their opening statements Monday in a Virginia federal courtroom.
If convicted, Regan could be the first American executed for spying since Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in June 1953. The Rosenbergs were convicted of conspiring to steal U.S. atomic secrets for the Soviet Union.