Accused US intelligence leaker Bradley Manning could be facing a long time in prison.
Lawyers today failed to have one of the most severe charges against the soldier dismissed.
The charge ‘aiding the enemy’ carries the possibility of life imprisonment and lawyers appealed to the military judge to have this count dropped.
The judge refused.
“He was knowingly providing intelligence to the enemy,” said Judge Colonel Denise Lind.
U.S. Army Private First Class Manning is accused of the biggest leak of classified material in US history and faces 21 different counts.
He is charged with sharing over 700,000 classified files with anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, while serving as a low-level intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.
Manning’s defence lawyers have argued that the young soldier was naive and guilty of negligence but not the “general evil intent” standard required to justify the heavy charge of ‘aiding the enemy’.