24 Feb 2012

Documents court martial begins

3:34 pm on 24 February 2012

The court martial of an American soldier accused of passing 700,000 classified documents to Wikileaks opened on Thursday.

Private Bradley Manning, 24, faces 22 charges of aiding the enemy and violating the United States Espionage Act.

The BBC reports he entered no plea at the hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Private Manning was arrested in May 2010. If found guilty of leaking and "aiding the enemy", he could be sentenced to life in prison.