Army Pfc. Bradley Manning faces sentencing for espionage

July 31, 2013 at 11:14 PM
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FORT MEADE, Md., July 31 (UPI) -- Prosecution witnesses testified Wednesday on the damage done by U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning's massive leak of classified documents as his sentencing began.

Robert Carr, a retired brigadier general and former director of the Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center at the Defense Intelligence Agency, said he did not know of anyone killed because of Manning's actions, The Baltimore Sun reported. But Carr said relations with other countries were strained and some Afghans named in documents became wary of cooperating with the U.S. military.

Manning was convicted Tuesday by Col. Denise Lind of stealing and leaking classified documents but acquitted of aiding the enemy, which could have put him behind bars for life with no parole. If Lind imposes consecutive sentences, however, he could face an effective life term.

Lind presided over the court-martial at Fort Meade in Maryland.

John Kirchhofer, deputy financial director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, also testified.

Manning's lawyers asked Lind to merge some of the counts against him, which could reduce his potential sentence. Lind told prosecutors to respond by Friday and said she will make a ruling next week.

The case has been a divisive one. Manning's supporters say he is a hero who released information useful to the public.

Major newspapers, including The Guardian in Britain and The New York Times, worked with Wikileaks on news stories based on Manning's leaks. Diplomatic cables describing U.S. foreign officers' view of the former regime in Tunisia have been credited with helping to start the series of protests and uprisings that became known as the Arab Spring.

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