Manning faces 136 years jail

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Manning faces 136 years jail

Cleared of aiding enemy.

US whistleblower Bradley Manning faces the rest of his life in jail after a military judge convicted him of espionage for leaking sensitive government documents.

Colonel Denise Lind found 25 year-old Manning guilty of 20 of 22 counts for dropping a cache of secret US cables to website WikiLeaks but dropped the most serious charge of 'aiding the enemy' which could have seen him face life in prison.

However Manning could face more than 100 years inside if Col Lind imposed the maximum sentencing under the charges.

Manning was found guilty of breaching the espionage act among other charges.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange told the ABC the ruling was a dangerous precedent for whistleblowers supplying information to the press that was part of US President Barack Obama's "war on journalism".

 

 

Ben Wizner, a director of US human rights group the American Civil Liberties Union said he was concerned about the use of draconian anti-spying laws to curtail government whistleblowers.

"While we're relieved that Mr Manning was acquitted of the most dangerous charge, the ACLU has long held the view that leaks to the press in the public interest should not be prosecuted under the Espionage Act,' he said in a statement.

"Since Manning already pleaded guilty to charges of leaking information - which carry significant punishment - it seems clear that the Government was seeking to intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future."

Manning admitted to leaking 700,000 documents to Wikileaks while serving as a 23-year-old intelligence analyst in Iraq.

Lead prosecutor Major Ashden Fein told the court Manning was "not a whistleblower" but "a traitor".

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia

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