http://topnews.in/usa/files/Call -court-martial.jpg" width="150" height="150" align="left" alt="Call for court-martial of ‘biggest classified info leak to WikiLeaks’ suspect Manning" />Washington, Jan 13 : An American army officer has recommended a court-martial for an intelligence analyst, who is charged with causing the biggest leak of US’ classified information to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks in the country’s history.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza has said Bradley Manning should face a court martial rather than death penalty on all 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, in a report to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall garrison commander Colonel Carl Coffman.
Almanza had presided over Manning''s seven-day preliminary hearing called an Article 32 investigation, where military prosecutors produced evidence confirming that Manning had electronically transferred nearly half a million Afghan and Iraq war reports, hundreds of diplomatic cables and video of a deadly 2007 army helicopter attack.
Coffman will make a recommendation to Military District of Washington commander Major General Michael Linnington, whose decision would be final.
Manning’s lawyers argued that Manning was emotionally perturbed due to being a gay soldier at a time when homosexuals were barred from serving the US army, and added the military should never have deployed him in Iraq or given access to classified documents.
They also said that the military computer security was lax and added that the documents published by WikiLeaks did little or no harm to national security.
Manning could be sentenced to life imprisonment if convicted of aiding the enemy.
A founding member of the Bradley Manning Support Network, Jeff Paterson said that Almanza’s recommendation did not take him by surprise.
"We''re not surprised, we''re disappointed, and we''re going to go forward with our public efforts," Paterson said. (ANI)