By Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai | Mashable.com
Bradley Manning, the American soldier accused of providing classified information to WikiLeaks, is offering to plead guilty to some offenses in exchange for having the most serious charges against him dropped.
The offer was made yesterday by Manning’s lawyer, David E. Coombs, during a motion hearing in Manning’s court martial at Fort Meade, Md., as first reported by blogger Kevin Gosztola.
This doesn’t mean that Manning is pleading guilty, however, as his lawyer stressed in a blog post.
“To clarify, PFC Manning is not pleading guilty to the specifications as charged by the Government,” wrote Coombs. “Rather, PFC Manning is attempting to accept responsibility for offenses that are encapsulated within, or are a subset of, the charged offenses.”
What Manning did, basically, is indicate that he is willing to admit that he leaked documents and information to WikiLeaks. Accepting this and other lesser charges doesn’t mean he’s also pleading guilty to charges stemming from the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud Act. In particular, he’s still not accepting the worst of the charges brought against him, that of “aiding the enemy.”
Manning could potentially face the death penalty for that latter offense, even though the prosecutors have repeatedly said that they will not ask for it, instead settling for a life sentence at most.
Read the full article at: mashable.com
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