23 Dec 2011

Pre-trial hearing ends in leaks case

10:04 am on 23 December 2011

The pre-trial hearing of an American soldier accused of passing classified documents to Wikileaks, has concluded after prosecution and defence lawyers made their closing statements.

A decision on a possible court-martial is due in January.

Private Bradley Manning, 24, is accused of leaking huge amounts of classified information to Wikileaks while working in Iraq as a US Army analyst.

The BBC reports he faces 22 charges and could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty.

Defence lawyers made their closing statements on Thursday after calling two witnesses at the Article 32 hearing.

Prosecution lawyers called a total of 21 witnesses.

Private Manning, a former intelligence analyst, was arrested in May 2010.

The BBC reports his lawyers requested that the case against him be reduced by dropping all but three charges.