Friday, March 4, 2011

U.S. introduced new charges against the soldier accused of being the source of WikiLeaks

Washington. .- The U.S. Department of Defense. UU. today announced 22 additional charges against Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of being the main source leaks WikiLeaks diplomatic cables, according to NBC. The most serious of those charges of "aiding the enemy" under the U.S. military uniform, as a sentence carries the death penalty, but the Army's legal team has stated that such punishment shall not recommend the military judge overseeing the case.

Instead, the prosecution advised life imprisonment if Manning is convicted on that charge alone, but the military judge could ignore that recommendation and impose the death penalty, as dictated by law. Manning, 23, is being held in a military prison in Quantico (Virginia) since June, when he was accused by the military authorities of violating the Military Code to provide WikiLeaks 150,000 secret documents from the State Department that the organization published later.

In this first position, facing the soldier to 52 years in prison today was joined by 22 more after a seven-month investigation that continues, the Pentagon said. Most of the new charges relate to the use of software not authorized for government computers to extract classified information, illegal downloading and transmission of the data for public disclosure by the "enemy" as called the accusation.

In his formulation of the charges, the military authorities made no specific mention of WikiLeaks, or refer to any direct link between Manning and the organization's founder, Julian Assange. The U.S. government is investigating possible legal avenues to bring charges against Assange, to be extradited soon to Sweden to stand trial for alleged sex crimes after a British judge authorizing the operation last week.

Manning's arrest came after the withdrawal of hacker Adrian Lamo, who accused him in June 2010 to be the "deep throat" WikiLeaks. According to the indictment, the soldier had access to documents when he was assigned to the Advanced Operating Base Hammer, east of Baghdad (Iraq), and could see two U.S.

government's classified networks, SIPRNET (Secret Internet Protocol Router Network) and Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System.

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