[QODLink]
Americas

Manning offers guilty plea on some charges

US army private accused of leaking documents to WikiLeaks offers guilty plea on some of lesser charges regarding case.
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2012 17:26
US Army Private Bradley Manning was arrested in May 2010 while serving as an army intelligence analyst [EPA]

A US soldier accused of leaking a thousands of secret files to WikiLeaks has offered to plead guilty to some, but not all, of the charges he faces in a pending court-martial, his defence lawyer has said.

Bradley Manning, 24, "is not pleading guilty to the specifications as charged by the Government," David Coombs wrote on his blog on Wednesday.

"Rather, PFC (Private First Class) Manning is attempting to accept responsibility for offences that are encapsulated within, or are a subset of, the charged offences," he wrote.

It was up to a military court to rule whether his plea was "legally permissible," and then government prosecutors would have to decide if they would continue to pursue all the charges against Manning, he said.

"PFC Manning is not submitting a plea as part of an agreement or deal with the government," Coombs added.

The defence relayed the offer to a military judge at pre-trial hearings being held at Fort Meade, Maryland on Wednesday and Thursday.

By making the offer, Manning indicated he was ready to plead guilty to passing government information to WikiLeaks, though it was unclear if he would admit to passing all the files cited by prosecutors.

If the plea is deemed legal by the court, it could potentially simplify the trial, which is due to start on February 4, 2013, and possibly shield Manning from being convicted on more serious federal offences related to computer fraud and the Espionage Act.

Manning had the option of being tried by a military jury but he informed the court he preferred to be tried by a judge only, according to Coombs.

Arrested in May 2010 while serving as an army intelligence analyst near Baghdad, Manning is charged with leaking classified military intelligence files on Iraq and Afghanistan and about 260,000 cables from the State Department.

The publication of the sensitive files by the whistleblowing WikiLeaks website caused huge embarrassment to Washington and angered many US allies.

322

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.