The U.S. Army has ordered a court-martial for a low-ranking intelligence analyst charged with passing classified documents to WikiLeaks.
A military spokeswoman said Friday the Army approved a recommendation that Private First Class Bradley Manning stand trial. A date for the trial has not yet been set.
Manning appeared at a preliminary hearing in December. Experts for the prosecution testified that they found evidence Manning downloaded diplomatic cables onto compact discs that were sent to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
Manning’s lawyers have described their client as a troubled man who should not have been allowed access to classified material while serving in Iraq between November 2009 and May 2010. His attorneys also said the military’s oversight of its computers was lax.
Manning, who has not entered a plea, faces 22 charges including aiding the enemy. He could spend the rest of his life in prison if found guilty.
The leaked diplomatic cables and military reports – published by WikiLeaks starting in July 2010 – roiled the international community, often providing blunt and unflattering U.S. views of world leaders’ private and public lives.
U.S. officials say WikiLeaks publication of the stolen documents put lives in danger, threatened national security and undermined American efforts to work with other countries.