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Manning arrives at court for verdict

Military judge is expected to deliver verdict in the case of US soldier who is accused of spilling secrets to WikiLeaks.

Last updated: 30 Jul 2013 15:42
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Bradley Manning is charged with aiding the enemy which carries a possible life sentence [GALLO/GETTY]

US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, the soldier charged with aiding the enemy for giving troves of US government secrets to WikiLeaks has arrived at his military trial in Maryland to hear the verdict.

The military judge hearing the court martial in Fort Meade Army Installation for the former intelligence analyst should announce her decision at 1pm (17:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

Supporters of Manning have gathered to demonstrate at Fort Meade. About two dozen people wearing "truth'' t-shirts waved signs on Tuesday morning outside the Army installation near Baltimore. 

Bradley Manning: Truth on trial? 

However, Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane, reporting from Washington, said that the majority of the American public seems to agree with the prosecution and see Bradley as a ”traitor” and what he did harmed US national interest.

The verdict by judge Colonel Denise Lind follows about two months of conflicting testimony and evidence.

Manning faces 21 counts including espionage, computer fraud and theft charges, but the most serious is aiding the enemy, which carries a possible life sentence.

Prosecutors have tried to prove Manning had ``a general evil intent'' and knew the classified material would be seen by al-Qaeda.

Legal experts said an aiding-the-enemy conviction could set a precedent because Manning did not directly give the classified material to al-Qaeda.

Manning's supporters also worry a conviction on the most serious charge will have a chilling effect on other leakers.

Diplomatic cables

Manning, 25, has admitted to sending more than 470,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports, 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables and other material, including several battlefield video clips, to WikiLeaks while in Iraq in early 2010.

WikiLeaks published most of the material online.

Manning said he sent the material to expose war crimes and deceitful diplomacy. He claimed that he selected material that would not harm troops or national security.

Prosecutors said al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden obtained copies of some of the documents WikiLeaks published before he was killed by US Navy Seals in 2011.

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