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Manning found guilty of most charges

Meanwhile, the US has announced it will declassify documents about the NSA.

Founder of the site Wikileaks, Julian Assange, who published the classified information given by Bradely Manning. Picture: AFP

FORT MEADE, MARYLAND - Military judge Colonel Denise Lind on Tuesday found US soldier Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge he faced for handling over documents to WikiLeaks.

However, she found him guilty of most of the other 20 criminal counts in the biggest breach of classified information in the nation's history.

The US government was pushing for the maximum penalty for what it viewed as a serious breach of national security, which included battlefield reports from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, while anti-secrecy activists praised Manning's action as shining a light on shadowy US operations abroad.

Army prosecutors contended during the court-martial that US security was harmed when the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website published combat videos of an attack by an American Apache helicopter gunship, diplomatic cables and secret details on prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay that Manning provided the site while he was a junior intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.

A crowd of about 30 Manning supporters had gathered outside Fort Meade ahead of the reading of the verdict.

Meanwhile, it emerged on Tuesday that US spy agencies now plan to declassify documents about the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden.

The declassified documents and other material related to a secret intelligence court could be released as early as this week.

The move is aimed at providing more information about the programs to the public as part of a commitment to transparency.

Snowden's release of the information sparked an uproar over revelations that US intelligence agencies had collected data on phone calls from Americans and foreigners as a tool for fighting terrorism.

Snowden remains in the Moscow airport transit area where he has spent more than a month.

He is yet to announce his next move after being denied asylum in most countries he applied to, though he may still decide to accept asylum in Russia.