News (USA)

Verdict expected Tuesday in Wikileaks court martial of Bradley Manning

Verdict expected Tuesday in Wikileaks court martial of Bradley Manning

FORT MEADE, Md — The military judge in the in the Wikileaks court martial involving U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning said Monday that she will announce a verdict in the case on Tuesday.

Manning was alleged to have leaked 700,000 classified documents to Wikileaks, which military prosecutors claim violated the Espionage Act and aided foreign terror groups.

Bradley Manning

U.S. Army Colonel Denise Lind began deliberating Friday evening after nearly two months of hearing testimony and disclosure of evidence in the court-martial against Manning, who if convicted of the most serious charges could spend the rest of his life in a military prison with no parole.

At Noon EDT on Monday, Lind called the court into session and made a brief announcement that she had tentatively scheduled the announcement of a verdict for Tuesday at 1 p.m. EDT.

Manning, 25, earlier pleaded guilty to lesser charges of mishandling U.S. classified material, and for that faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

The court martial held at Fort Meade, Md., concluded on Friday following closing arguments that spanned two days.

Prosecutors argued Manning knew that by releasing the documents they would end up in the hands of foreign terror groups, principally Al Qaeda.

Manning’s attorneys argued that Manning was a young, naive, well-intentioned soldier who wanted the released documents to spark debate about U.S. foreign policy.

Defense attorney David Coombs said Manning was a “young, naive but good-intentioned” soldier who was in emotional turmoil, partly because he was a gay service member at a time when homosexuals were barred from serving openly in the U.S. military.

There was no jury in this case because Manning had requested a trial by judge versus having the case heard by a military jury.

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