Secrets, in lieu of cash, Aburn ‘spy’

Canberra (AP) – A Greek-Australian former government intelligence analyst was found guilty on Friday of passing top secret papers to a prostitute and urging her to sell them to a foreign embassy. A jury found Simon Lappas guilty of passing secret documents – whose nature was not disclosed – with intent to prejudice Australia’s national security. Lappas, 27, pleaded guilty to passing documents to Sherryll Ellen Dowling in July 2000. His lawyer, Lex Lasry, had argued that Lappas had been depressed, lonely, in doubt about his forthcoming marriage and suffering mental impairment at the time. Judge Malcolm Gray agreed to release Lappas into the custody of his parents until sentencing on Thursday, saying the former analyst might not be jailed. Dowling said she had met Lappas through a Canberra brothel in July 2000 and spent four days with him, without having sex. In lieu of pay, Lappas gave her three documents and the phone number of a foreign embassy – whose identity was not revealed – and told her she could sell them for money. She didn’t.

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