Soldier offers WikiLeaks guilty plea

The US Army private charged with sending government secrets to WikiLeaks is offering to plead guilty to some offences.

Private Bradley Manning’s civilian defence lawyer, David Coombs, revealed the offer during a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Mr Coombs says Manning is not pleading guilty to the offences he is accused of by the government. Rather, he is offering to take responsibility for less serious offences 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.

Mr Coombs also says Manning has elected to be tried by a military judge, not a jury, at his trial in February.

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