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WikiLeaks case could hinge on Manning's beliefs

David Dishneau, Associated Press

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) -- The trial of an Army private charged with giving classified information to the WikiLeaks website may hinge on what he knew — or should have known — about the consequences of his alleged actions.

A military judge made a pretrial ruling Wednesday about what prosecutors must prove to convict Pfc. Bradley Manning of the most serious charge he faces. He's accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of battlefield reports and State Department cables while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.

The most serious charge is aiding the enemy. Col. Denise Lind ruled that for Manning to be convicted of that offense, prosecutors must prove he knew the material would be seen by al-Qaeda members.

Defense attorneys can present evidence Manning selectively leaked information that wouldn't harm the United States.