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US Army orders court martial for Bradley Manning

By Lewis Smith

The US soldier accused of passing documents to WikiLeaks in the biggest leak of classified information in US history should face a court martial, a senior US army officer has recommended.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza recommended Bradley Manning should be tried on 22 charges, but the eventual decision will be taken by Major General Michael Linnington, commander of the Military District of Washington.

The charges Manning faces includes aiding the enemy by allegedly giving more than 700,000 secret US documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Prosecutors say the site's founder Julian Assange collaborated with Manning.

Defence lawyers say Manning, 24, from Crescent, Oklahoma, was a troubled young soldier and the army should never have sent him to Iraq or given him access to classified material.

In Manning's preliminary hearing in December, prosecutors produced evidence that Manning transferred to WikiLeaks nearly half a million reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables, and video of a 2007 army helicopter attack.

Manning's lawyers countered that the material WikiLeaks published did little or no harm to national security.

Belfast Telegraph


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