Manning convicted of espionage, cleared of 'aiding the enemy' charge
Iran Press TV
Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:11PM GMT
US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning has been found guilty on five counts of violating the espionage act for giving secret US documents to WikiLeaks.
Manning’s verdict was announced by the military judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.
The private was acquitted of the aiding the enemy charge, which was the most serious of 21 counts. Although he has been cleared of the charge, his convictions mean he could still face a lengthy prison sentence.
His convictions, which are five espionage counts, five theft charges, a computer fraud charge and other military infractions, carry a maximum sentence of up to 130 years in prison.
The 25-year-old Army private was accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks in 2010.
His sentencing hearing is set to begin Wednesday.
Manning has admitted to sending over 470,000 documents related to Iraq and Afghanistan wars, 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables and other material, including several battlefield video clips, to WikiLeaks, which published most of the material online.
In a reaction posted on Twitter, WikiLeaks denounced the verdict, saying it reflected “dangerous national security extremism from the Obama administration.”
WikiLeaks also said that the conviction of Manning on several counts of espionage set a "very serious new precedent for supplying information to the press."
Meanwhile, dozens of people gathered outside the courtroom in Fort Meade to show their support and demand Manning’s freedom.
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