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Spy to Testify Against Ex-Lover

From a Times Staff Writer

Sharon M. Scranage, the former CIA clerk who pleaded guilty last month to two counts of an indictment charging her with espionage while she was serving in Ghana, entered a guilty plea to a third count Friday under an agreement that commits her to testify against her former lover.

Under the plea bargain approved by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams, Scranage faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and fines totaling $110,000 for the three counts. Fifteen other counts against her were dismissed.

At the same time, the defendant agreed to testify at the trial, scheduled for next month, of Michael Agbotui Soussoudis, her Ghanaian lover, to whom she admitted passing classified information.

The judge deferred sentencing pending that testimony. However, the agreement read into the record by Assistant U.S. Atty. Justin W. Williams left open the possibility that the three 10-year sentences confronting Scranage may be served concurrently.

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The count to which Scranage pleaded guilty Friday charged that she passed to Soussoudis notes from intelligence reports and cables classified as “secret” that dealt with military equipment Ghana had requested from Libya. Last month, she pleaded guilty to two counts that involved disclosing to Soussoudis the identities of two CIA agents working in Ghana.

Assistant prosecutor Williams refused to comment on the plea bargain except to confirm that it had the approval of the Justice Department. Brian P. Gettings, Scranage’s counsel, said the agreement stemmed from daily conversations between counsel.


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