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Appearance of an American soldier, presumed source of Wikileaks

FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) – U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, accused of being behind the flight of hundreds of thousands of confidential diplomatic documents published by Wikileaks then, appeared for the first time before the military justice the United States on Friday.

On the eve of his 24th birthday, this former military intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq is particularly charged with aiding the enemy, which could earn him a sentence of life imprisonment.

Wearing a military uniform, Bradley Manning remained calm during the preliminary hearing before a court in Fort Meade, Maryland, content to take some notes.

He responded with a laconic “Yes, sir” when the head of the investigation, Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, asked if he understood the 22 charges against him.

The prosecution wants to prove that it has sufficient evidence to hold a trial by court martial.

Bradley Manning has been in detention since May 2010. The United States considers that the documents circulated on the Internet, exposing to light certain aspects of their diplomacy have undermined their national security.

Security had been tightened around the court due to the presence of numerous media and some demonstrators from expressing their support for Bradley Manning.

A rally in support of the soldier is scheduled Saturday at the military base at Fort Meade, with an expected intervention of Daniel Ellsberg, who was exposed to light the underside of the Vietnam War in 1971 by publishing the Pentagon Papers (“Pentagon Papers “).

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