News Column

Judge Knocks 36 Years Off Manning's Potential Sentence

August 6, 2013
Pvt. Bradley Manning (file photo)

A US military judge Tuesday reduced the maximum possible sentence for Private Bradley Manning, the military intelligence analyst who admitted giving documents to WikiLeaks, from 136 to 90 years.

Judge Colonel Denise Lind agreed to a motion by Manning's defence lawyers to consolidate some of the charges, the military said.

Last week, Lind pronounced Manning guilty on 20 of 22 charges of espionage and theft of government documents after a trial that began in early June.

Although his supporters and family expressed relief that Lind found him not guilty on the most serious charge - that he knowingly aided the enemy in the WikiLeaks case - the 25-year-old soldier still faces a long stretch in prison.

The sentencing phase of the trial in the courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland, is expected to end by late August.

Prosecution and defence lawyers are giving arguments to the court over the length of punishment for each conviction. At issue are whether they will be served consecutively or concurrently, and whether Manning could be released from prison before the full sentence is served.

Manning admitted to copying an estimated 700,000 classified diplomatic and military documents from US government networks when he worked as an analyst in Iraq, and offering them to the Wikileaks anti-secrecy organization.

But he disputed that he knew they would be read by the terrorist network al-Qaeda and other anti-US groups.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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