FORT MEADE, Md. --Bradley Manning, the Army private who sent hundreds of thousands ofsecret U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks, was found not guilty onTuesday of the most serious charge against him -- aiding the enemy --but guilty of several other charges at a military trial in Fort Meade,Md.
Conviction on aiding the enemy carried a possible sentence of life in prison without parole.
Col.Denise Lind, the military judge in the case, made the ruling. Manninghad requested that a judge, not a jury, determine the verdict againsthim.
Lind found Manning guilty of five counts of theft, fivecounts of espionage, a computer fraud charge and other militaryinfractions.
Manning's sentencing hearing is set to beginWednesday. He still faces a potential 128 years in prison if he receivesthe maximum sentence for the charges on which he was convicted.
Inhis closing argument last week, military prosecutor Maj. Ashden Fein,told the court Manning was a traitor who joined the Army to stealgovernment documents, turn them over to the anti-secrecy organizationand enjoy adulation as a whistle blower.
Manning's lawyer, DavidCoombs, portrayed him as a soldier troubled by what he saw whiledeployed to Iraq and struggling as a gay man to serve before the repealof Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the policy that resulted in more than 14,000gay troops being discharged.
Manning, 25, had faced 21 charges,including the most serious - aiding the enemy, which carries a possiblesentence of up to life in prison. Manning has acknowledged givingWikiLeaks some 700,000 battlefield reports, diplomatic cables andvideos. But he says he didn't believe the information would harm troopsin Afghanistan and Iraq or threaten national security.
Theprosecution argued that Manning knew a- Qaeda terrorists could benefitfrom the leaks. Some of the information turned up in the search of Osamabin Laden's compound in Pakistan, they said.
Manning pleadedguilty in February to charges that he had misused classifiedinformation. Those charges carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison.
Manningwas a low-level intelligence analyst, working at a forward operatingbase in Iraq when he gained access to the files. He used his computersavvy to gain access to sensitive government documents andcommunications.
The material he released included footage of aU.S. Army helicopter attack in Iraq in 2007 that killed at least ninemen, including a Reuters journalist. Other documents revealed tepid U.S.support for the government in Tunisia. Manning's supporters say thathelped bring about the revolution there that sparked the Arab Springmovement.
The verdict and sentence will be reviewed by thecommander of the Military District of Washington. A hearing on hissentence is set to begin Wednesday.
Manning has been held in military jails since his arrest in 2010.