Bradley Manning trial begins 3 years after arrest over WikiLeaks documents
Mon, 03 Jun 2013 15:00:35 GMT —
The trial has started for Former Fort Drum solider Pfc.Bradley Manning who is charged with sending documents to WikiLeaks in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history.
A military judge took up some procedural matters in Manning's case and opening statements are set to begin later Monday.
The 25-year-old intelligence analyst from Oklahoma has admitted leaking the documents to WikiLeaks to enlighten the public about American foreign and military policy
and pleaded guilty to offenses
that could send him to prison for up to 20 years. But the U.S. military and the Obama administration are trying to convict Manning on a charge of aiding the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.
Manning's attorney says the soldier was young and naive, but he had good intentions and thought he could make the world a better place. Attorney David Coombs gave his opening statement Monday after prosecutors Manning released thousands of sensitive documents that fell into enemy hands.
Prosecutors say they will present evidence that Osama bin Laden asked for and received information given to WikiLeaks. Coombs did not address those accusations.
Prosecutors are trying to prove Manning aided the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.
The release of sensitive material was the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history. Manning's supporters hail him as a whistleblowing hero. Others say he is a traitor.