WASHINGTON – An Army officer ordered a court-martial Friday for a low-ranking intelligence analyst charged in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history.
Military District of Washington commander Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington referred all charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning to a general court-martial, the Army said in a statement.
The referral means Manning will stand trial for allegedly giving more than 700,000 secret U.S. documents and classified combat video to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks for publication.
The 24-year-old Crescent, Oklahoma, native faces 22 counts, including aiding the enemy. He could be imprisoned for life if convicted of that charge.
A judge who is yet to be appointed will set the trial date.
Manning's lead defense counsel, civilian attorney David Coombs, didn't immediately return a call Friday evening seeking comment on the decision.
Defense lawyers say Manning was clearly a troubled young soldier whom the Army should never have deployed to Iraq or given access to classified material while he was stationed there from late 2009 to mid-2010.