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Bradley Manning Acquitted Of Aiding The Enemy Charge

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A military judge acquitted Army Pfc. Bradley Manning of the aiding the enemy charge.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
A military judge acquitted Army Pfc. Bradley Manning of the aiding the enemy charge.

In the trial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, a military judge has acquitted the former intelligence officer of the most serious charge he faced for the largest leak of classified material in the history of the U.S.

Army Col. Denise Lind found Manning not-guilty of the aiding the enemy charge, which carried a potential sentence of life in prison without parole.

Outside the courtroom in Fort Meade, Manning supporters celebrated.

"I'm very elated that he was found not guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy, but still emotionally distraught the he was found guilty on so many other charges," said Joe Brown, a Silver Spring native.

Manning was convicted of six espionage counts, four theft of government property charges, a computer fraud charge and other military infractions. For that, he faces combined maximum penalties of more that 100 years. He had previously pleaded guilty to 10 of the 22 counts he faced.

"I'm disappointed since he could still faces potential a 136 years in prison," says Meagan Brophy, a supporter. "He was found guilty of all these other charges solely for exposing the truth and that's a travesty."

An earlier decision from Judge Lind will take 112 days off any prison sentence he receives, in light of the his treatment in pretrial confinement.

From here the trial moves to the next phase on 9 a.m. Wednesday, where attorneys for both sides will present testimony and debate about what constitutes an appropriate sentence.

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