Last week PFC Bradley Manning’s lawyer submitted a motion to dismiss the case against his client. Manning (photo), who is accused of passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, is charged with 22 crimes, including giving aid to the enemy as defined in the Espionage Act (18 USC Chapter 37).
At the hearing on March 15 conducted in Ft. Meade, Maryland, attorneys for the 24-year-old from Crescent, Oklahoma, argued that government investigators mishandled the transfer of documents during the discovery phase of the proceedings against the Army private. At a subsequent hearing the following day, two of the motions were addressed, while one was left undecided.
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 releasing documents 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.
Private Manning has been detained since he was arrested on May 29, 2010 while on deployment with the 10th Mountain Division in Iraq. While on duty near Baghdad, Manning had access to the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System. SIPRNET is the network used by the U.S. government to transmit classified information.
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Photo of Bradley Manning: AP Images