23 August 2013
A military court in the US has sentenced Bradley Manning, the former intelligence analyst who leaked hundreds of thousands of documents to Wikileaks, to 35 years in prison. The judge at the court martial in Fort Meade also ruled he should be dishonourably discharged from the US army.
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Bradley Manning showed little emotion when his sentence was read out, as some of his supporters in the room burst into tears. The former intelligence analyst was convicted last month of 20 counts including espionage, computer fraud and theft, after leaking more than 700,000 classified government documents, military battle plans and diplomatic cables to the Wikileaks website.
Bradley Manning's lawyer David Coombs said his client was a whistleblower who was exposing truths about US foreign policy, and called on President Obama to pardon him. He said Bradley Manning could be eligible for parole in as little as seven years.
The sentence will be a disappointment for military prosecutors acting on behalf of the US government, who argued the leaks threatened national security and pushed for a minimum sentence of 60 years to act as a deterrent to others.
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- burst into tears
suddenly started to cry
particular crimes a person is accused of
person who works in an organisation and informs an authority about illegal or dishonest activity
official forgiveness and end to punishment for a crime
- eligible for parole
allowed to be considered for early release from prison, depending on good behaviour
lawyers who are responsible for proving in court that someone is guilty