Bradley Manning's chances of spending the rest of his life in prison rose today after a judge refused to dismiss the most serious charge against him—aiding the enemy, reports the BBC. Prosecutors say he knew full well that his leaked documents would end up in the hands of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden himself, and the judge today rejected the defense team's effort to drop the charge because of a lack of evidence.
It carries a sentence of life without parole, but today's ruling doesn't mean Manning is doomed. Prosecutors will need to meet the tougher beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard to get an actual conviction, reports the AP. Manning already has pleaded guilty to some lesser charges and faces up to 20 years on those alone. His defense team is hoping to avoid further time.