WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning arraignment for February 23
WASHINGTON — US Army Private Bradley Manning, accused of giving a trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks, is to be formally charged later this month ahead of a court-martial, the US Army said Thursday.
Manning, 24, is accused of one of the most serious intelligence breaches in US history and is facing charges that could send him to prison for life.
The US Army said in a statement that the military judge hearing the case scheduled an arraignment for February 23 at Fort Meade in Maryland.
Manning is accused of aiding the enemy, theft of public property, transmitting defense information and other charges.
A seven-day pre-trial hearing was held at Fort Meade in December to determine if there was sufficient evidence for Manning to face trial.
Trained on various intelligence systems, the soldier from Oklahoma served in Iraq from November 2009 until his arrest the following May.
He is accused of giving WikiLeaks a massive cache of US military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, 260,000 classified State Department cables, Guantanamo detainee assessments and videos of US air strikes.
Jeff Patterson of the Bradley Manning Support Network said Manning was expected to plead not guilty at the arraignment although he has the option to not enter any plea.
The Bradley Manning Support Network said meanwhile that Manning had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by members of the Icelandic parliament.
“According to journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on our foreign policies, and most recently contributed to the Obama administration agreeing to withdraw all US troops from the occupation in Iraq,” Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir was quoted as saying in a blog post.