WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. military judge on Wednesday sentenced Army Private First Class Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for leaking secret government files to WikiLeaks.
The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, handed down the sentence at Fort Meade, Maryland, not far from Washington. She also ordered that Manning be reduced in rank to private and be dishonorably discharged from the Army.
Manning, now 25, could face a maximum of 90 years in prison. He was convicted of several charges last month, including espionage and theft. But Lind found him not guilty of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, which possibly carried a whole-life prison sentence.
Manning was accused of delivering to WikiLeaks three-quarters of a million pages of classified documents and videos, which covered numerous aspects of U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and U.S. diplomatic missions across the world. But WikiLeaks has never confirmed Manning as the source of its information.
He was arrested months later after one of the leaked videos appeared on WikiLeaks in April 2010. It was a gunfire video of a U.S. attack helicopter firing at a group of people in Baghdad in 2007. A dozen people were killed, including a Reuters TV news cameraman and his driver.
WikiLeaks, an international organization that publishes secret information and news leaks from anonymous sources, continues to publish documents related to the 2010 Afghanistan War, the Iraq War Logs and diplomatic cables by U.S. State Department officials.