[QODLink]
Americas

US court prepares to rule in Manning case

WikiLeaks whistleblower faces possible life sentence with no chance of parole if convicted of "aiding the enemy" charge.

Last Modified: 29 Jul 2013 18:46
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Manning has acknowledged giving WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of battlefield reports [Reuters]

The verdict in the court-martial of Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, accused of the biggest leak
of classified information in US history, will be read on Tuesday, the presiding judge has said.

Manning, who is accused of spilling secrets to the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website, is charged with 21 criminal counts, the most serious of which, "aiding the enemy", carries a life sentence.

Inside Story Americas -
Bradley Manning trial: What is at stake?

Judge Colonel Denise Lind, who presided over Manning's court-martial in Fort Meade, Maryland and began deliberations on Friday, said she plans to read the verdict at 1pm local time on Tuesday.

The sentencing phase is slated to begin on Wednesday.

Manning's lawyers have maintained that he is a whistleblower, and not a traitor as the government claims. He wanted to provoke a broader debate on US military and diplomatic policy out of concern for fellow Americans, the defence asserted.

Prosecutors said the 25-year-old intelligence analyst from Crescent, Oklahoma, aided the enemy by releasing more than 700,000 documents through WikiLeaks. They said Manning had betrayed the trust his nation put in him when he released documents on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Manning was arrested in May 2010 while serving in Iraq. He chose a trial by a military judge, rather than a panel of military jurors.

In closing arguments last week, the defence portrayed Manning as a naïve whistleblower who wanted to expose war crimes. Prosecutors call him an anarchist hacker and a traitor.

Manning has acknowledged giving WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of battlefield reports, diplomatic cables and videos in late 2009 and early 2010. But he says he did not believe the information would harm troops in Afghanistan and Iraq or threaten national security.

Manning pleaded guilty earlier this year to reduced versions of some charges. He faces up to 20 years in prison for those offenses, but prosecutors pressed ahead with the original charges.

375

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.