WASHINGTON: The US Army said in a statement Friday that it had approved a recommendation that Bradley Manning be court-martialed for allegedly funneling hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks.
The decision clears the way to set a date for Manning, a private with the Army, to face a host of charges, including that he aided the enemy and wrongfully caused intelligence to be openly published on the Internet.
"A military judge will be detailed by the US Army Trial Judiciary and that military judge will set the date for Manning's arraignment, motion hearings and trial," the army statement said.
Manning is also accused of stealing public property or records, transmitting defense information and of committing computer fraud.
A US investigating officer last month concluded that the 24-year-old soldier should be court-martialed because "reasonable grounds exist to believe that the accused committed the offenses alleged."
That recommendation followed a seven-day pre-trial hearing in December to determine if there was sufficient evidence for him to face trial.
If convicted, Manning could be sentenced to life in prison for what authorities have described as one of the most serious intelligence breaches in US history.
Trained on various intelligence systems, the Oklahoma soldier served in Iraq from November 2009 until his arrest the following May.
He is accused of giving WikiLeaks a massive trove of US military reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, 260,000 classified State Department cables, Guantanamo detainee assessments and videos of US air strikes.