A U.S. military judge announced that she will sentence Pfc. Bradley Manning on Wednesday for providing more than 700,000 military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks, the largest leak of classified information in the country’s history.
Army Col. Denise Lind said Tuesday she was still deliberating, but she was confident she would have a sentence by Wednesday at 10 a.m. EDT.
Manning, 25, faces up to 90 years in prison for leaking Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department diplomatic cables while working as a low-level intelligence analyst in Baghdad.
He also leaked a classified video of a U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad in 2007 in which a dozen people were killed, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.
Manning was convicted in July on 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, five theft counts and computer fraud.
He was found not guilty on the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, which had carried a possible sentence of life in prison without parole.
Prosecutors have asked for at least a 60-year prison term. Capt. Joe Morrow said in his closing argument Monday that a long prison sentence would dissuade other soldiers from following in Manning's footsteps.
"There's value in deterrence," Morrow said.
THE BRADLEY MANNING TRIAL: A TIMELINE
The defense has suggested a prison term of no more than 25 years, so that Manning could rebuild his life productively after his release. Defense attorney David Coombs asked for a sentence that "doesn't rob him of his youth."
Manning's defense argued that the soldier had hoped to spark a broader debate on the role of the U.S. military and to make Americans aware of the nature of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to defense testimony, military supervisors ignored erratic behavior by Manning that included trying to grab a gun during a counseling session.
Defense attorneys had argued that such actions showed that the soldier, who was increasingly isolated while deployed to Iraq, was not fit for duty overseas.
During a pretrial hearing, Lind reduced Manning's sentence by 112 days because of harsh treatment after his arrest in 2010. He will likely be imprisoned at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Earlier this year, Manning pleaded guilty to lesser charges, but military prosecutors continued their effort to convict him on more serious counts.
He apologized to the court for what he had done, saying: "I understand I must pay a price for my decisions."
Manning must serve at least one-third of any prison sentence before becoming eligible for parole. He will get credit for about three and a half years of pretrial confinement.
Al Jazeera and wire services