WASHINGTON (AP) — A former National Security Administration employee accused of mishandling classified information will be in court for an unusual hearing.

Federal prosecutors want Thomas Drake’s lawyers to disclose the names of their expert consultants months before trial. They say that’s a necessary step if the experts want access to classified information.

But Drake’s lawyers contend they don’t have to share the names of their experts unless they plan to have the experts testify. A hearing on the issue is set for Monday afternoon.

Drake was charged after an investigation into leaks of classified information to a newspaper. It’s a rare case because he’s charged with violating espionage laws without being accused of spying. His supporters claim he’s being punished for blowing the whistle on inefficiencies and mismanagement at the NSA.

(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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