Verdict in Bradley Manning WikiLeaks case to be read on Tuesday
The verdict in the court-martial of Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, accused of the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history, will be read on Tuesday, the presiding judge said on Monday.
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.
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 1 p.m. 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 U.S. military and diplomatic policy out of concern for fellow Americans, the defense 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 the short, bespectacled 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.