The Army private behind the biggest leak in U.S history was acquitted on the charge of aiding the enemy, the most serious offense he was charged with, but was found guilty on five counts of theft and five counts of violating the Espionage Act amongst other offenses.
The man that provided Wikileaks with a data dump what would become the largest leak of classified information in U.S history was found by a military court Tuesday to not be guilty of aiding the enemy.
Private First Class Bradley Manning has been found not guilty of the most serious charge of “aiding the enemy”, a charge that would have carried the maximum sentence of life in prison. However, the private was found guilty of five espionage and five theft charges — some of which he had already pleaded guilty to. He was also convicted under computer fraud charge and a variety of military fractions under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Though Manning was cleared of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, which would lead to life in prison, because of concurrent sentencing he could be facing up to 130 years in prison.
Manning had requested that a judge, not a jury, determine the verdict against him.
Before the trial began, Manning had spent nearly three years in custody.
Manning’s most famous leak was a film from a U.S attack helicopter attack in Iraq that killed nine people, including two Reuters journalists. It was released under the name “Collateral Murder.”
A sentencing trial will take place tomorrow.
More to come…