U.S. soldier Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years

Bradley Manning [Photo: en.wikipedia.org]

Manning will be qualified for parole after serving one third of the sentence.

A US military judge has sentenced Bradley Manning, the soldier convicted of leaking classified documents to anti-secrecy website Wikileaks, to 35 years in prison.

Judge Colonel Denise Lind, who last month convicted Mr. Manning, 25, of 20 charges including espionage and theft, could have sentenced him to as many as 90 years in prison. Prosecutors had asked for 60 years.

He was found not guilty of the most serious charge-aiding the enemy-which would have attracted the death sentence.

Mr. Manning, a private first class, handed over 700,000 classified US diplomatic cables covering nearly all countries of the world to Wikileaks’ Julian Assange in 2010. He was working as a military intelligence analyst Baghdad, Iraq.

The files included battlefield videos, one showing how US soldiers fired and killed civilians-one of them a Reuters’ journalist- from a helicopter.

Mr. Manning, will be disgracefully discharged from the U.S. military and will forfeit some pay, Mr. Lind said. His rank will be reduced to private from private first class.

He would be eligible for parole after serving one-third of his sentence, which will be reduced by the time he has already served in prison plus 112 days, Reuters reported.

Defense attorneys had not made a specific sentencing request but pleaded with Mr. Lind not to “rob him of his youth.”

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