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article imageBradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison

By Michael Thomas     Aug 21, 2013 in World
US whistleblower Bradley Manning, charged with releasing over 700,000 battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan to Wikileaks, received a sentence of 35 years in prison from a military court Wednesday.
The sentencing for Manning could have been a lot worse — prosecutors were asking for a minimum of 60 years, according to the Guardian.
The defence, meanwhile, sought 25 years, so that Manning could still rebuild his life once released from jail.
Manning must serve at least a third of his sentence before being eligible for parole. He will receive credit for the 3.5 years he spent in detention, including 112 days he was illegally punished at the Quantico Brig in Virginia.
He was last month convicted of 20 charges, including six violations of the Espionage Act, five theft counts and computer fraud.
Manning will also have several circuits to appeal to, including the US court of appeal for armed forces and the US supreme court.
Manning enlisted in the US army in 2007 at the age of 21, CBC reports. His lawyer, David Coombs, said that Manning truly believed that the documents and videos he leaked would help to make a difference.
"He had pure intentions at the time that he committed his offences," Coombs said. "At that time, Pfc. Manning really, truly, genuinely believed that this information could make a difference."
The first documents Manning leaked were put out in February of 2010, the Washington Post reports. He would go on to release many more documents, as well as a video of a US helicopter strike in Baghdad that killed nine people including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.
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