WikiLeaks suspect facing 22 new charges

The U.S. Army has added 22 new charges against the soldier accused of leaking classified material later published by WikiLeaks, including one of “aiding the enemy.”

The new charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning allege he “introduced unauthorized software onto government computers to extract classified information, unlawfully downloaded it, improperly stored it and transmitted the classified data for public release and use by the enemy,” a statement Wednesday from the U.S. Army Military District of Washington said.

{mosads}The most serious charge, that of aiding the enemy, is a capital offense, but the prosecution has said it will not seek the death penalty, according to the statement.

Manning is also charged with “wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet knowing that it is accessible to the enemy.”

“The new charges more accurately reflect the broad scope of the crimes that Pfc. Manning is accused of committing,” Capt. John Haberland, a spokesman for the Army Military District of Washington, said. “The new charges will not affect Pfc. Manning’s right to a speedy trial or his pre-trial confinement.”

Manning, who worked as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad, was charged earlier this year with 12 other counts, including illegally downloading and sharing a secret video of a military operation in Iraq that left several, including two Reuters journalists, dead.

The U.S. is investigating the publication by WikiLeaks of State Department cables and other documents pertaining to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and has suggested it could pursue charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Manning is in custody in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va.

Officials said the investigation is ongoing.


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