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Wednesday, 31 July 2013 19:03

Bradley Manning awaits sentencing

Written by Nick Farrell

At least he will not die

The bloke who told the world what the US was doing in its war zones and what it really thought of world leaders has been found guilty of five counts of espionage and five theft charges, computer fraud and several other military infractions.

If they threw the book at him he could be in jail for 136 years but he can thank his lucky stars that he was cleared of and “aiding the enemy” charge would could have meant the death penalty. Prosecutors said they would not call for him to be killed, but it would have made it harder for him to get away with any light sentence on the lesser charges.

He was convicted of spying charges for passing government secrets to WikiLeaks. Manning's sentencing hearing begins today and may be a lengthy process as both the defence and prosecution are allowed to call witnesses.

WikiLeaks described Manning's espionage convictions as "dangerous national security extremism from the Obama administration" on Twitter founder Julian Assange hailed him as a "hero" and said the espionage convictions set a "dangerous precedent".

"This was never a free trial. WikiLeaks will not rest until he is free," said Assange. We are not sure who he is talking out here.

The verdict was delivered by Army Colonel Denise Lindfollows after she deliberated for about 16 hours over three days.

Nick Farrell

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