Manning's Defense to Open Sentencing Case


FORT MEADE, Md. -- Army Pfc. Bradley Manning's defense team is opening its case at the soldier's sentencing hearing.

Defense attorney David Coombs says he expects to call the first of more than a dozen witnesses Monday in the court-martial at Fort Meade, near Baltimore. He says Manning will give a statement before the defense rests on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old, Crescent, Okla., native faces up to 90 years in prison for disclosing reams of classified information through the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. He claims he leaked the material to expose wrongdoing and provoke discussion about U.S. military and diplomatic affairs.

Prosecutors have said the leaks hurt U.S. foreign relations and uprooted Afghan citizens who were put at risk by revelations they had helped the United States.

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