13:16 01 March 2013
Bradley Manning has pleaded guilty to ten charges against him at a hearing on Thursday, 1st March. Although he admitted he was guilty of lesser charges, he has pleaded not guilty to aiding the enemy.
At the military hearing, which took place at Fort Meade in the US, and is understood to have been carried out before Judge Colonel Denise Lind, Mr. Manning pleaded guilty to mishandling classified information.
The American army man, aged 25, stood accused of leaking the important information to WikiLeaks.
Mr. Manning commented on his involvement saying: “I believe that if the general public... had access to the information... this could spark a domestic debate as to the role of the military and foreign policy in general.”
According to reporters who were able to witness the hearing, Mr. Manning said that although he chose to leak the information, he believed it would not affect national security.
Mr. Manning added: “'I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience.”
It is believed that the army private was previously shocked at footage from 2007 involving members of the American military.
Mr. Manning, who was arrested in 2010, could face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years for pleading guilty to the ten lesser charges. If he is found guilty of aiding the enemy, he could receive a life sentence in jail.
Mr. Manning’s trial is expected to take place on 3rd June, 2013.
The founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange has been seeking asylum in the UK since claiming he was afraid to be extradited to Sweden. Mr. Assange has been at the Ecuadorean Embassy, London, since June 2012.
In 2010, Mr. Assange faced allegations relating to sex crimes.
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