Thursday, December 29, 2011

#BradleyManning : Legal Strategy Could Lead To Plea Deal

While it may appear that the government’s document-leaking case against US Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning is strong, the defense could have some surprising leverage with prosecutors and force plea negotiations.

Prosecutors may in particular find it difficult to prove the 24-year-old Manning intended to provide the information to enemies of the United States such as al Qaeda, and that the information was helpful to them, legal experts said.

Manning faces 22 charges of participating in the largest leak of classified government documents in history, including the accusation that he had unauthorized possession of information related to national defense and that he stole records belonging to the United States.

At a hearing that concluded last week, military prosecutors presented evidence that Manning downloaded thousands of classified or confidential files that later made their way to the WikiLeaks website. In his closing summation at the hearing, Captain Ashden Fein, the lead prosecutor, said Manning was a well-trained soldier who “used that training to defy our trust.” more