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A defensive tactic in an espionage trial whereby the accused threatens to reveal secret information unless the charges are dropped.

gray′mail′ v.


(Law) law US a tactic to avoid prosecution in an espionage case by threatening to expose state secrets during trial


a means of preventing prosecution, as for espionage, by threatening to disclose government secrets during trial.
[1975–80; gray1 (in sense “indeterminate”) + (black)mail]
References in periodicals archive ?
Mark Zaid, a lawyer who has represented people charged with espionage, said these threats from Snowden and Greenwald are a form of graymail, a tactic in which defendants charged with spying try to force the government to drop the charges by threatening to expose U.
Anyone, whether or not a bona fide victim of military misconduct, could sue and then use graymail (the threat of disclosing secrets) to extract an undeserved settlement.