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Sentence in WikiLeaks case may be handed down Tuesday

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, center, is escorted to a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, after a hearing in his court martial. Court is scheduled to reconvene Monday for closing arguments in Manning's sentencing stage. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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By McClatchy Newspapers
Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 8:33 p.m.

FORT MEADE, Md. — More than three years after he was placed in handcuffs in Iraq, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is likely to learn next week how much longer he must spend in prison for the largest breach of U.S. classified material in the nation's history.

The 25-year-old soldier, who apologized that he “hurt” the United States, could be told as early as Tuesday whether he will face the maximum sentence of 90 years in prison and not be eligible for parole or clemency until he is in his 50s.

In court here on Friday, the judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, issued a “Special Findings” report explaining why she convicted him last month of most of the charges against him, including six counts of violating the Espionage Act.

“Pfc. Manning's conduct was of a heedless nature that made it actually and imminently dangerous to others,” she said. “His conduct was both wanton and reckless.”

Lind will hear closing arguments on Monday afternoon from military prosecutors and defense lawyers. She will then begin deliberating on a sentence for the former junior intelligence analyst who was stationed southeast of Baghdad.

The judge acquitted Manning of the most serious charge against him — aiding the enemy, which could have sent him to prison for life. But her report did not explain how she reached that conclusion.

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