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News Link • Whistleblowers

Defense rests in court-martial of soldier accused of WikiLeaks disclosures

• Reuters

The soldier accused of the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history chose not to testify at his court-martial on Wednesday, when the defense rested its case.

U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, 25, is charged with disclosing more than 700,000 classified files, combat videos and State Department cables to the pro-transparency website WikiLeaks.

Manning, who served as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009 and 2010, could face life in prison without parole if convicted of the most serious of 21 charges, aiding the enemy.

Manning told Judge Colonel Denise Lind he would not testify in his own defense, which rested on Wednesday after only three days with nine witnesses. The trial had been expected to take another month and the defense had planned to call 46 witnesses.

Court-martial prosecutors spent five weeks portraying Manning's wholesale leaking of information as recklessly endangering others and benefiting U.S. enemies, including the extremist group al Qaeda.

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