US soldier charged over Apache Wikileaks video
An American soldier suspected of leaking video footage of a US Apache helicopter strike which killed civilians in Baghdad has been charged, the US military said.
The video of the July 2007 attack, in which two employees of the Reuters news agency were killed, made headlines around the world after it was posted on the Wikileaks website.
A US Army statement says Private First Class Bradley Manning, held in a military jail in Kuwait since last month, faces two charges of misconduct.
Wikileaks released a decrypted copy of the military video in April.
It shows several people, including the Reuters employees, being killed by fire from the helicopter gunship.
The statement said the first charge against Manning, 22, is for violating army regulations by "transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorised software to a classified computer system".
He is accused in a second charge of "communicating, transmitting and delivering national defence information to an unauthorised source".
WikiLeaks at the time said it obtained the video "from a number of military whistleblowers" and decrypted it.
The gun camera footage included audio conversations between Apache pilots and controllers in which they identified the men on a Baghdad street as armed insurgents and asked for permission to open fire.
Two of the men were later identified as Reuters employees Nameer Nuraddin Hussein, a 22-year-old photographer, and Saeed Chmagh, 44, a driver.
Their families, who said they have until now received no compensation for the incident, have demanded that the Americans responsible should stand trial.
After the leaked and graphic footage was released the White House described the incident as "tragic", insisting that US forces in war zones take pains to avoid civilian casualties.
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