July 29, 2009 -- Once a rising star, former CIA station chief Andrew M. Warren sat in a federal courtroom in Washington today for a status hearing as a judge urged him to waive his right to speedy trial.
Warren, 41, who was indicted in late June for allegedly sexual abusing a woman in February 2008, was told by Judge Ellen S. Huvelle that because of the time needed to get his attorney's the required security clearance to review documents, he should waive his right to a speedy trial.
Warren entered the courtroom at Barrett Prettyman U.S. Court in a navy suit and crisp white shirt and said nothing during the hearing. Warren's attorney, Mark D. Hunter, told Judge Huvelle that there is a "laundry list" of witnesses scattered around the world that need to be reached, and there are between 50-200 documents the Defense attorneys wish to "seek and review," indicating that it is likely the defense would agree to waive the speedy trial right.
Warren's fall from CIA grace has been dramatic, if not instant. According to two former CIA officials, Warren was a rising star at the CIA. Warren was a fluent Arabic speaker and had converted to Islam, making him an ideal officer in the Middle East for the intelligence agency. Officially, however, CIA has refused to acknowledge Warren was their spy.
During his confirmation hearings in February, current director of CIA, Leon Panetta told lawmakers that the CIA officials should have fired Warren immediately and notified Congress about the charges. Lawmakers first heard of the case from an exclusive ABC News report.
Before being posted to Algeria, Warren had served in Egypt, Afghanistan, and a stint in that CIA domestic station in New York. It was in New York, a few years after 9/11, that supervisors spotted him as a potential star, ready to be deployed around the world as a spy. Within a very short time - four years - Warren had been posted as station chief in Algeria.
He was fired earlier this year, shortly after he was dismissed by the U.S. ambassador in Algeria stemming from the allegations.
Bureau of Diplomatic Security
According to an affidavit filed by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security during the investigation, two women in separate incidents alleged that Warren gave them drinks that caused them to pass out and then sexually assaulted them while they were in a helpless unconscious or semi-conscious state.
The federal indictment alleges that Warren secually abused a woman while she "was incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct and was physically incapable of declining participation in, and communicating unwillingness to engage in, said sexual act."
Warren pled not guilty to the charges and has been free on bail since his arraignment.
The Justice Department has said that Warren could face life in prison if convicted.