(FORT MEADE, Md.) — Private First Class Bradley Manning moved one step closer to a court-martial Thursday.
Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, the investigating officer who last month presided over Manning’s Article 32 hearing, on Thursday recommended to his convening authority that there are “reasonable grounds that the accused committed the offenses alleged,” and that a court-martial is in order.
Manning is charged with releasing more than 700,000 confidential government documents to WikiLeaks, as well as aiding the enemy.
In making his recommendation for court-martial, Almanza weighed testimony presented at the hearing in December, as well as more than 300,000 government pages of documents, chat logs and classified documents.
What still is left to be decided is who will make the final decision as to whether Manning should face a court-martial.
If Manning does go to court-martial trial and is convicted, he would most likely face life in prison. The charge of aiding the enemy does carry with it the death penalty, but prosecutors previously said they will not request it.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Steve Almasy, CNN
Kathryn Vasel & Aaron Smith, CNN