Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old soldier suspected of being at the origin of one of the most serious scandals of leaks of confidential documents for ten years in the United States, appeared in federal court in Boston on Friday April 14, the next day. of his arrest.

He was charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 for “unauthorized retention and transmission of information relating to national defense”, and “unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or materials”. . These facts are punishable by ten years and five years in prison.

Risk of heavy penalties

“Very heavy sentences” will be sought by the United States in the case of the leak of confidential documents, said Merrick Garland, the United States Attorney General, shortly after the indictment. “Individuals who sign undertakings to receive classified documents recognize the importance to national security of not disclosing these documents. And we intend to send a message [to show] how important this is for our national security,” the minister said at a press conference.

For his part, President Biden directed U.S. intelligence to take action regarding classified information: “While we continue to determine the authenticity of these documents, I have directed U.S. military and intelligence to take measures to further secure and limit the distribution of sensitive information, and our national security team is coordinating closely with our partners and allies,” the President said, also commending law enforcement for their investigation and response. rapid” in the face of their dissemination.

Jack Teixeira has been remanded in custody pending a new hearing scheduled for Wednesday.