The Spy of WikiLeaks is sentenced to 35 years in prison | Mobile Liker

The Spy of WikiLeaks is sentenced to 35 years in prison

Whistleblower Bradley Manning could be free in just over 10 years after being convicted of the US’s biggest leak of military secrets.

The 25-year-old soldier was yesterday jailed for 35 years but will be eligible for parole after serving a third of his sentence.

Wikileaks, which published 700,000 classified documents leaked by Manning on the internet, said the sentence was a ‘significant strategic victory’.

US Army Private Bradley Manning is escorted out of the courthouse after being sentenced to 35 years in prison at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, on Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison but showed little emotion when the jail term was read out.

Private Manning was a low-level intelligence analyst in Baghdad when he gave the classified material to Wikileaks, which prosecutors said endangered the lives of US intelligence sources. However, they did not present evidence in open court that anyone was harmed as a direct result of Manning’s actions.

The three-and-a-half years he has spent in military custody will be taken off his sentence.

A further 112 days will be taken off as reparation for illegal punishment at a US Marine Corps prison.

Manning was last month found guilty at a court martial of 20 charges of espionage, theft and computer fraud and faced a sentence of up to 90 years. He was cleared of aiding the enemy, but prosecutors said he should be jailed for a minimum of 60 years.

However, defence lawyers told Judge Colonel Denise Lind that Manning had been under severe mental pressure because he was struggling with gender identity issues when openly gay people were not allowed to serve in the military.

The court was shown a photograph of him wearing a blonde wig and lipstick that he emailed to his military therapist. Manning has apologised for his actions but said that he wanted to expose the US military’s ‘bloodlust’.

Inside the court: In this courtroom sketch, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, second from right, is escorted out of a courtroom as spectators gasp and cry

Sixty years: The government had urged the military judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, to sentence Manning to 60 years in prison for crimes that include six Espionage Act violations, five theft counts and computer fraud

Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison.

He is likely to serve his sentence at the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

As he was hurried out of the courtroom by guards, supporters shouted, ‘We’ll keep fighting for you, Bradley’ and ‘You’re our hero’.

Manning moved with his mother Susan from Oklahoma to Haverfordwest, in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in 2001 after his parents divorced.

He moved back to the US in 2005.
hanged

Manning’s uncle, Kevin Fox, told BBC Wales: ‘It was less time than I thought. But to be honest, he shouldn’t have been given any time at all. In my eyes, he’s a hero.’

Amnesty International and the Bradley Manning Support Network announced an online petition, asking President Obama for a pardon.

In a press conference following the hearing defense attorney David Coombs said he was saddened by the sentence, adding that it didn’t represent the harm his client had caused.

‘When I heard the sentence I thought to myself “I have represented hundreds of clients some of them have committed murders and some have molested children and those clients received less time than private Manning.”‘

He added that he was surprised by the decision to dishonorably discharge Manning from the military, adding ‘Bradley Manning is a man of honor.’

Coombs said: ‘I’m hoping he gets out in the near term and he can go on with his life and be productive. This doesn’t have to define him.’

Manning’s sentencing, lasting just a couple of minutes, capped off a 12-week trial and a much longer legal battle over the former intelligence analyst’s intentions when he reached out to WikiLeaks.

Supporters: Supporters of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning hold up banners as they protest outside of the gates at Fort Meade, Maryland, on Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Shocked: Ingrid Dean, of Severna Park, Maryland, holds a sign along with other supporters of US Army Private Bradley Manning holding a vigil outside the gate at Fort Meade, Maryland, on Wednesday

‘I’m shocked. I did not think she would do that,’ said Manning supporter Jim Holland, of San Diego. ‘Thirty-five years, my Lord.’

The sentence was more severe than many had expected, and is much longer than any punishment previously given to a U.S. government leaker.

Coombs said at his press conference: ‘The winner in this case is the public because they got information they needed to see to see what our country is doing. The loser is anyone who hopes there will be whistleblowers in future who are willing to come forward. This sentence sends a message and a chilling one.’

He added: ‘After three years, (Manning) is eligible for clemency board, which will look at how he has been in confinement. If I think hard enough and turn over enough stones hopefully I’ll find some other ways of (reducing his sentence) too.’

However, he said he would not be representing Manning in his appeal.

The soldier’s supporters are planning protest rallies in cities including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, New York and Boston.

The former intelligence analyst was found guilty last month of 20 crimes, including six violations of the Espionage Act, as part of the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on media leaks.

But the judge acquitted him of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, an offense that could have meant life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors portrayed Manning as ‘the determined insider,’ an anarchist hacker and traitor who started working within weeks of his 2009 deployment to provide WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange with exactly what they wanted.

Troubled time: Manning was isolated and alone in the Army because of his desire to dress in female clothing

Gender Identity Issues: In this undated photo provided by the U.S. Army, Pfc. Bradley Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick. Manning emailed his military therapist the photo with a letter titled, ‘My problem’

Gender Identity Issues: In this undated photo provided by the U.S. Army, Pfc. Bradley Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick. Manning emailed his military therapist the photo with a letter titled, ‘My problem’

The government had urged the military judge, Army Colonel Denise Lind, to sentence him to 60 years in prison for crimes that include six Espionage Act violations, five theft counts and computer fraud.

Manning and his defense team maintain he was an idealistic soldier with a pure motive – to expose brutal truths about America’s military and diplomatic corps.

In a statement, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has taken refuge at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, decried Manning’s trial and conviction as ‘an affront to basic concepts of Western justice.’

But he called the sentence a ‘significant strategic victory’ because Manning could be free as early as 2021.

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