Manning wants lesser charges, statement read in Wikileaks case

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Army Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, who faces a possible life sentence for leaking classified U.S. diplomatic cables to anti-secrecy group Wikileaks, will attempt to plead guilty to lesser charges at a pre-trial hearing Thursday.

Pfc. Manning, who faces 22 criminal charges resulting from the biggest security breach in U.S. history, will also seek to read a statement at the Fort Meade, Md., hearing, NBC News reports.

Pfc. Manning will seek to plead guilty to reduced charges, including unauthorized use of his government computer. In the statement, which he has already sent to the presiding judge, the former intelligence analyst claims that his actions were only meant to “spark a domestic debate on the role of our military and foreign policy in general.”

Prosecutors said that Pfc. Manning’s partial pleas are not connected to any plea bargain and that they plan to bring him to trial in June, according to the NBC News report.

Should the trial commence, Pfc. Manning will face questions regarding his alleged role in releasing hundreds of thousands diplomatic cables to the website WikiLeaks from 2009 to 2010 while stationing in Baghdad.

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