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Judge Accepts Soldier's Guilty Plea In WikiLeaks Case

Private First Class Bradley Manning is escorted from a hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland in January.
A U.S. military judge has accepted guilty pleas on 10 charges from the soldier who sent thousands of classified documents to the WikiLeaks website.

Private First Class Bradley Manning pleaded guilty on February 28 to a series of 10 lesser charges against him, which could still see him imprisoned for up to 20 years if convicted.

Manning pleaded not guilty to 12 more serious charges, including aiding the enemy, a charge that potentially carries life imprisonment.

The prosecution said it intended to pursue those 12 remaining charges at a trial scheduled to start in June.

The court permitted Manning to read a 35-page statement explaining his motives.

Manning said he felt that releasing the classified information could "spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy."

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP