Just days after a judge ordered military prosecutors to disclose hundreds of emails exchanged between Army officials in charge of overseeing the detention of PFC Bradley Manning, Courthouse News reports that Manning “privately told his trial judge Wednesday how he intends to respond to charges that he sent WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of secret files about U.S. diplomacy and warfare.”
Courthouse News records the proceedings Wednesday that led to the speculation that Manning will soon enter a plea:
On Wednesday, he updated his trial judge, Col. Denise Lind, about his plans for trial, slated for Feb. 4, 2013, through a form that was not read into the record.
"Do you authorize this submission to the court?" Lind asked.
"I do, Your Honor," Manning replied.
Though not a formal plea, its undisclosed details will allow prosecutors to question potential jurors and help the court prepare for trial.
The mystery form is not publicly available due to document restrictions that, in U.S. jurisprudence, are unique to courts martial.
In what is described as “the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history,” Manning is accused of passing over 700,000 documents and video clips to WikiLeaks, the widely known website devoted to exposing government corruption throughout the world.
If convicted of the charge of giving aid to the enemy, Manning could face life imprisonment. The maximum penalty for the other charges he faces is 150 years combined.
Manning’s defense team avers that their client was “troubled” and that he was not competent to have been allowed access to classified information.
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Photo of Bradley Manning: AP Images