Australian espionage convict leaving US for home

An Australian former intelligence officer who was arrested by the FBI for trying to sell classified US defense documents will be allowed to serve the remaining of his prison sentence in Victoria, Australia. Jean-Philippe Wispelaere was an employee of Australia’s Defence Intelligence Organisation, the agency responsible for assessing and relaying intelligence information to Australian government officials. In 1999, he resigned from his job and flew to Bangkok, Thailand, where he contacted embassy officials of a third country (rumored to be Singapore) and offered to sell them over 700 pages of classified US documents. But the embassy notified US authorities, prompting the FBI to contact Wispelaere via two agents posing as potential buyers of the documents. Wispelaere was then lured to Washington where he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in jail. Now, having served more than 10 years of his sentence, the Australian government has quietly announced that Wispelaere will be returning to Australia to serve his remaining jail time under the International Transfer of Prisoners Agreement.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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