Manning Acquitted of Aiding Enemy, Guilty of 19 Lesser Charges - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Manning Acquitted of Aiding Enemy, Guilty of 19 Lesser Charges

FORT MEADE, MD_ A military court has found PFC Bradley Manning, accused of the largest leak of classified information in US history, not guilty of aiding the enemy.

That charge, the most serious of his charges, would have carried a maximum sentence of life in prison. He was found guilty of most of the remaining charges against him, with the judge accepting some of the guilty pleas he made previously to lesser charges.

ORIGINAL STORY

He also is charged with eight federal Espionage Act violations, five federal theft counts, and two federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violations, each punishable by up to 10 years; and five military counts of violating a lawful general regulation, punishable by up to two years each.

Manning is being tried by a judge alone, which was his choice. The trial began June 3.

The 25-year-old native of Crescent, Okla., 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 working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in early 2010.

The video included footage of a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed at least nine men, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.

Manning claims he sent the material to expose war crimes and deceitful diplomacy. In closing arguments last week, defense attorney David Coombs portrayed Manning as a naive whistleblower who never intended the material to be seen by the enemy. Manning claims he selected material that wouldn't harm troops or national security.

Prosecutors called him an anarchist hacker and traitor who indiscriminately leaked classified information he had sworn to protect, knowing it would be seen by al-Qaida. They showed that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden obtained copies of some of the documents WikiLeaks published before bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy Seals in 2011.

Manning pleaded guilty in February to 10 counts, including less-serious military versions of all the federal charges. His admitted offenses carry prison terms punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors accepted just 1 of his pleas and chose to continue prosecuting Manning for the greater offenses.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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