Wednesday, July 1, 2009

CIA Officer Charged in Algiers Rape

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former CIA station chief charged with raping an unconscious Algerian woman last year surrendered to federal agents outside a federal courthouse on Tuesday.

Andrew Warren, 41, was fired from the CIA earlier this year, according to agency spokesman George Little. Warren's attorney, Mark David Hunter, told The Associated Press that Warren will be proven innocent.

"The charges are shaky at best and he will be vindicated," said Hunter. "Andrew has fought and preserved the rights and freedoms of our country."

A grand jury issued a one-count indictment against Warren on June 18 that was unsealed on Tuesday. If convicted he faces up to life in prison, according the Justice Department.

Two Algerian women came forward separately in 2008 to say they had been sexually assaulted by Warren while at his home in Algiers, according to papers filed in federal court in January by a State Department investigator. One of the Algerian women claimed that she was drinking at a party at Warren's home when something made her ill and she passed out, according to the State Department investigation. She awoke believing she had had intercourse, but with no memory of having done so.

The indictment says the alleged victim was not conscious at the time of the Feb. 18, 2008, assault.

Warren had been assigned to Algiers since 2007. He was removed in October. The CIA station chief is the most senior intelligence officer in the country, overseeing operations and advising the ambassador.

The CIA would not confirm Warren's title. However, congressional and intelligence officials say he was the station chief. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the information.

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