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Most serious WikiLeaks charge stays

A military judge has refused to dismiss the most serious charge against an Army private accused over the biggest leak of government secrets in US history.

Colonel Denise Lind ruled against a defence motion to dismiss the charge of "aiding the enemy". The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Col Lind was presiding over a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade in Maryland.

The defence had argued that the charge did not properly allege that Private Bradley Manning intended to help al Qaida when he allegedly sent classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Prosecutors maintained that Manning knew al Qaida members would view the WikiLeaks website, regardless of his intentions.

Manning also faces 21 other charges.

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