WikiLeaks trial: Soldier Manning not guilty of aiding enemy

US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning leaves a military court facility after hearing his verdict in the trial at Fort Meade, Maryland on July 30, 2013. Military judge Colonel Denise Lind on Tuesday found US soldier Bradley Manning not guil
US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning leaves a military court facility after hearing his verdict in the trial at Fort Meade, Maryland on July 30, 2013. Military judge Colonel Denise Lind on Tuesday found US soldier Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy - the most serious charge he faced for handling over documents to WikiLeaks.- PHOTO: AFP

FORT MEADE (Reuters, AP) - Military judge Colonel Denise Lind on Tuesday found US soldier Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy - the most serious charge he faced for handling over documents to WikiLeaks.

But she found him guilty of most of the other 20 criminal counts in the biggest breach of classified information in the nation's history.

Manning was convicted of five espionage counts, five theft charges, a computer fraud charge and other military infractions. His sentencing hearing is set to begin on Wednesday.

The US government was pushing for the maximum penalty for what it viewed as a serious breach of national security, which included battlefield reports from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, while anti-secrecy activists praised Manning's action as shining a light on shadowy US operations abroad.

Army prosecutors contended during the court-martial that US security was harmed when the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website published combat videos of an attack by an American Apache helicopter gunship, diplomatic cables and secret details on prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay that Manning provided the site while he was a junior intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.

The 25-year-old acknowledged giving the anti-secrecy website hundreds of thousands of battlefield reports, diplomatic cables and videos in early 2010.

Manning said he didn't believe the information would harm troops in Afghanistan and Iraq or threaten national security.

A crowd of about 30 Manning supporters had gathered outside Fort Meade ahead of the reading of the verdict.