Offers Guilty Pleas in WikiLeaks Case
Manning made the offer through his attorney, David Coombs, at a preliminary hearing Wednesday at Fort Meade, Md. Manning faces a total of 34 charges, including aiding the enemy, violating the Espionage Act by providing classified information to an unauthorized party, and violating Army regulations and orders.
Coombs said in a blog post Wednesday night that Manning is willing to admit that the facts support some of the charges, including in some cases lesser offenses incorporated in more serious charges brought against the Army intelligence analyst. However, there is no plea deal or agreement with the government at this time.
Experts said Manning's move may be an attempt to reinforce the defense's arguments that the case is "overcharged," meaning the charges are more serious than befits what the soldier actually did or is alleged to have done. However, if prosecutors want to proceed with the full case as charged, there is nothing about Manning's offer that forces them not to.
"PFC Manning has offered to plead guilty to various offenses through a process known as 'pleading by exceptions and substitutions.' To clarify, PFC Manning is not pleading guilty to the specifications as charged by the Government," Coombs wrote. "Rather, PFC Manning is attempting to accept responsibility for offenses that are encapsulated within, or are a subset of, the charged offenses. The Court will consider whether this is a permissible plea."
Manning has also elected not to be tried by a panel of military officers, but by a military judge sitting alone.
Scroll down to add / read comments
|In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information ClearingHouse endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)|