Washington, Aug 20 (IANS) A US federal court sentenced a Navy sailor to one year in prison for taking photos in a classified area of a nuclear submarine, after he pleaded for leniency citing the government decision not to indict Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information.
Petty Officer First Class Kristian Saucier, 29, mechanic, had admitted he used his personal cell phone on three occasions in 2009 to take six pictures of the USS Alexandria submarine’s classified propulsion system while working in the engine room, according to court documents, CNN reported.
“We need to make sure that every service person understands the consequences of playing fast and loose with important information,” US District Judge Stefan Underhill said.
The sentence was well below the more than five years behind bars sought by the government, but not the probation that Saucier had requested.
In a court filing, Saucier’s lawyer Derrick Hogan compared the half-dozen classified photos Saucier had in his possession to the 110 classified emails the FBI determined were on Clinton’s personal server.
“Saucier possessed six photographs classified as ‘confidential/restricted,’ far less than Clinton’s 110 emails,” Hogan wrote to the US District Court in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Advocating for probation, Hogan said it would be “unjust and unfair” for Saucier — who had pleaded guilty — to do prison time “for a crime those more powerful than him will likely avoid.”
The federal government rejected the comparison in a court filing earlier this week.
According to CNN, Saucier, who served on the USS Alexandria from September 2007 until March 2012, had a secret security clearance and had admitted knowing he was not authorised to take the photos, which depicted classified material.
“Saucier admitted that he knew when he took the pictures in 2009 that they were classified and that he did so out of the misguided desire to keep these pictures in order to one day show his family and his future children what he did while he was in the Navy,” Hogan wrote in a court filing.