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LONDON (Reuters) - Charges against a spy-service translator who said she had leaked a top-secret memo in an act of conscience to avert war in Iraq have been dropped.
Prosecutors said on Wednesday they did not have enough evidence to prove Katharine Teresa Gun broke the Official Secrets Act, although she freely said she had leaked the email memo which she said disclosed a U.S. plot to spy on U.N. members.
The government said it was not behind prosecutors' decision to drop the case. But political opponents of Prime Minister Tony Blair said authorities had decided to avoid a trial to dodge embarrassing disclosures about the arguments for war.
Gun, who worked as a Chinese translator at the global surveillance centre GCHQ, in Cheltenham, said she had no regrets in leaking the memo from an official in the U.S. National Security Agency to the Observer.
The newspaper said the U.S. agency sought British help in gathering information about wavering U.N. Security Council members it hoped to persuade to support the war.
"I felt that this was an essential and important issue that needed to get out to the public," she told reporters after prosecutors said they were dropping the case.
The Liberal Democratic Party's foreign policy spokesman, Sir Menzies Campbell, said authorities may have dropped the case because they feared some jurors might accept Gun's argument she broke the law to stop an illegal war.