Manning faces more charges, death penalty
2 Mar, 2011 22:59
The US military officially adds 22 new charges, including 'aiding the enemy' against alleged WikiLeaks leaker Pfc. Bradley Manning.
Manning is accused of illegally downloading tens of thousands of classified US government documents that were later released publicly by WikiLeaks. New charges filed in the investigation range as high as aiding the enemy, which is a capital offense and carries a potential death sentence. Department of Defense officials claimed information leaked to WikiLeaks contained the names and personal details of informants and others who once cooperated with US military forces in Afghanistan, possible endangering their lives.Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, has repeatedly stated that it was unclear if additional charges filed against Manning would hold up. "The decision to prefer charges is an individual one by PFC Manning's commander," he wrote in a blog post. "The nature of the charges and the number of specifications under each reflects his determination, in consultation with his Staff Judge Advocate's office, of the possible offenses in this case. Ultimately, the Article 32 Investigating Officer will determine which, if any, of these additional charges and specifications should be referred to a court-martial.”