Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years

Written by Edward Chester

August 21, 2013 // 4:25 p.m.

Tags: #bradley-manning #dishonorably-discharged #leaking-documents #wikileaks

Bradley Manning, the US soldier convicted of leaking huge volumes of secret government documents to Wikileaks has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.

The sentencing follows his conviction in July for 20 of the 22 charges levelled against him, including espionage but excluding aiding the enemy - a potentially capital offence.

Last week Manning apologised for "the unexpected results" of his actions, saying "I’m sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that they hurt the United States."

This may have lead Judge Col Denise Lind to hand out the arguably lenient sentence, with Manning having potentially faced a total of over 100 years for all his convictions. Instead he will be eligible for parole in 11 years time. His sentence will also be reduced by about three and a half years due to the time he has already served and the 112 days recompense he was awarded for the harsh conditions of his initial confinement.

As ever with court proceedings there will be an appeals process with the verdict and sentence being reviewed, and possibly reduced, by a military district commander, and there will be an automatic review by the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. Manning may also petition the court for lenience during the appeals process.

He is expected to serve his sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Meanwhile, via Twitter, Wikileaks called the sentence a "significant strategic victory". Supporters at the courtroom also wore black T-shirts bearing the word "truth" and shouts of "We'll be waiting for you, Bradley" and "Thank you, Bradley, we love you" could be heard.

Amnesty International and the Bradley Manning Support Network have announced an online petition asking President Barack Obama to pardon Pte Manning.
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