Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guilty Of 19 Charges, Including Espionage, Army PVC Bradley Manning's Sentencing Phase Begins

Gary Sheftick at the Army News Service offers a piece on PFC Bradley Manning.

FORT MEADE, Md., July 31, 2013 - The sentencing phase begins here today in the court-martial trial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was found not guilty yesterday of the most serious charge he faced -- knowingly aiding the enemy -- but was convicted on 19 other specifications related to the misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of intelligence documents he sent to the WikiLeaks organization.

Manning faces a possibility of 136 years of confinement in the sentencing phase, said David Coombs, Manning's defense attorney, speaking outside the courtroom minutes after presiding judge Army Col. Denise Lind read the verdict.

Bradley and his defense team were emotional at the first "not guilty" count, Coombs said, but he added that there would be "no celebrating."

"We won the battle, per se, but the war is going to be tomorrow," Coombs said after yesterday's verdict. "Sentencing is what really matters at the end of the day."

Aiding the enemy held a maximum penalty of life in prison, so Coombs said beating that specification was encouraging to the defense. Manning also was found not guilty of a charge involving the alleged unauthorized release of a video.

Manning pleaded guilty at the beginning of the trial to 10 counts involving the unauthorized release of intelligence information, and was found guilty in his trial of nine other specifications. These include bypassing security mechanisms, adding unauthorized software to the classified network and wrongfully storing classified information.

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