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Manning guilty of espionage

Reuters | 2013-07-31 00:15:22.0
Supporters of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning protest during his scheduled motion hearing, outside the gates of Fort Meade, Maryland. File photo.
Image by: JOSE LUIS MAGANA / REUTERS

US military judge Colonel Denise Lind yesterday found soldier Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy - the most serious charge he faced for handing documents to WikiLeaks.

But she found him guilty of most of the other 20 criminal counts in the biggest breach of classified information laws in US history.

The US government was pushing for the maximum penalty for what it viewed as a serious breach of national security. Manning's leaks included battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Anti-secrecy activists have praised Manning's action as shining a light on shadowy US operations abroad.

Army prosecutors contended during the court martial that US security was harmed when the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website published combat videos of an attack by a US Apache helicopter gunship, diplomatic cables and secret details on prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.

The files were stolen by Manning when he was a junior intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.

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