US Army`s WikiLeaks leaker faces life term

The soldier is suspected of providing classified government documents published by the WikiLeaks.

Last Updated: Mar 04, 2011, 00:08 AM IST

Washington: The US Army said it has filed
22 additional charges against Pvt. 1st Class Bradley E
Manning, the soldier suspected of providing classified
government documents published by the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy
group.
Army officials said yesterday, the charges accuse
Manning of using unauthorized software on government computers
to extract classified information, illegally download it and
transmit the data for public release by what the Army termed
"the enemy."

The charges follow seven months of Army investigation.

"The new charges more accurately reflect the broad
scope of the crimes that Pvt. 1st Class Manning is accused of
committing," said Capt. John Haberland, a legal spokesman for
the Military District of Washington.

One charge aiding the enemy under the Uniform Code of
Military Justice is a capital offense, but the Army`s
prosecution team has notified the Manning defense team that it
will not recommend the death penalty to the major general in
charge of continuing with legal action.

In a written statement detailing the new charges, the
Army said that if Manning were convicted of all charges he
would face life in prison, plus reduction in rank to the
lowest enlisted pay grade, a dishonorable discharge and loss
of all pay and allowances.
Trial proceedings against Manning have been on hold
since last July, pending results of a medical inquiry into
Manning`s mental capacity and responsibility. If that inquiry
determines that he is mentally fit to be tried, the military
equivalent of grand jury proceeding may be held.

The Army said Manning was notified in person of the
additional charges yesterday. He is confined in the Marine
Corps Base Quantico brig in Quantico, Virginia, south of
Washington.

PTI