Alleged US document leaker to go to trial
Updated: 2012-04-27 10:21
WASHINGTON - US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is scheduled to go to trial in September by a military judge on Thursday.
Manning faces charges that he leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents in what's believed to be the largest intelligence leak in the US history.
According to the American Forces Press Service, Army Col. Denise Lind, the judge presiding over three days of motion hearings at Fort Meade in Maryland, scheduled the trial to begin on September 21 and continue through October 12.
Lind upheld the most serious charge against Manning, that he aided the enemy by disclosing classified military and diplomatic documents material to the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks, in turn, released thousands of these documents, including classified records about military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, on its website.
The decision followed three days of oral arguments, with the discussion centered largely on Manning's intent in disclosing the classified documents and what damage resulted.
The defense, led by civilian counsel David Coombs, argued that Manning never intended to aid the enemy when he provided the information to WikiLeaks.
Aiding the enemy is a capital offense under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, but the prosecution has said it won't recommend the death penalty. The maximum sentence Manning could receive, if found guilty of the charge, is life in prison.