Manning Willing to Plead Guilty to Lesser Offenses

Military prosecutors could still try to prove him guilty of more serious charges

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Nov 8, 2012 10:17 AM CST

(Newser) Bradley Manning, the US Army soldier charged with sending reams of government secrets to WikiLeaks, is offering to plead guilty to some less serious offenses. Manning's civilian defense attorney, David Coombs, revealed the offer yesterday during a pretrial hearing that continues today. Coombs says Manning isn't pleading guilty to the offenses charged by the government, but is offering to take responsibility for less serious offenses that are encapsulated within the charged crimes.

Even if the court accepts the offer, military prosecutors could still try to prove Manning guilty of the more serious charges. They include aiding the enemy, punishable by life imprisonment. Coombs also says Manning has elected to be tried by a military judge, not a jury, at his trial in February.

In this June 25, 2012 file photo, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, right, is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
A sign supporting Bradley Manning hangs outside a campaign event for President Barack Obama in San Francisco on Monday, Oct. 8, 2012.   (AP Photo/Mathew Sumner)
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