WASHINGTON, July 30 (RIA Novosti) – A US military judge on Tuesday found former Army intelligence officer Private Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, but guilty of lesser charges for leaking 700,000 classified US military documents to WikiLeaks.
Manning, 25, was accused of leaking the largest amount of classified information in US history, including thousands of war logs about US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and a video of a 2007 US helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed a dozen civilians, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.
Manning could have received a sentence of life in prison if convicted on the charge of aiding the enemy.
Military judge Army Col. Denise Lind found Manning guilty on five espionage counts, theft and computer fraud, his sentencing hearing is set to begin on Wednesday.
Manning had already pleaded guilty to nearly a dozen lesser charges that carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
He said he sent the classified material to expose war crimes and start a debate on US military and foreign policy, but that he never intended for it to be seen by the enemy. Manning said he only released information that wouldn’t harm troops or national security.
The US government labeled Manning a traitor, while supporters hailed him as a whistleblower.