Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years in WikiLeaks Case

Sentence will be reduced by time already served, will be dishonorably discharged from Army.

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A judge sentenced Army Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison Wednesday for leaking roughly 700,000 classified documents to whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks in 2010, the largest document leak in U.S. history.

[DEBATE CLUB: Was the Bradley Manning Verdict Fair?]

His sentence will be reduced by the nearly the 1300 days of time already served, according to the Associated Press. Manning will have his rank reduced, be dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military and will lose all pay and allowances. He will be eligible for parole after serving one-third of his sentence.

Manning's leak sparked a national debate on intelligence transparency and brought WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange into the international spotlight.

 

Manning, 25, was charged with 22 criminal charges, including six violations of the Espionage Act, five counts of theft and computer fraud. Judge Col. Denise Lind found him guilty of 20 charges in July. He was acquitted of the most damaging charge of aiding the enemy, which carries a life sentence.

Though he potentially faced up to 90 years in prison, prosecutors asked Lind to sentence Manning to only 60 years on Monday. His defense asked that any prison term not exceed the expiration date for the leaked documents in 25 years.

In February, Manning pleaded guilty to 10 of the lesser criminal charges – each carrying two years in prison.

[READ: Bradley Manning Acquitted of Aiding the Enemy]

Manning joined the Army at age 19 in 2007, and was serving as a low-level intelligence analyst in Iraq when he leaked unauthorized documents in 2010, including daily military activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and numerous State Department cables.

"When I made these decisions, I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people," said Manning during the trial last week.

He was turned in to the Department of Defense by computer hacker Adrian Lamo, who Manning had engaged in several online chats detailing his leak of hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks. The conversations, which reportedly took place in May 2010, were published in Wired in 2011. Manning was arrested later that month.

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