US military prosecutors in the court-martial of Bradley Manning have asked the judge to sentence him to at least 60 years in prison.
They argued that his leaks of classified documents to the WikiLeaks website in 2010 severely damaged US intelligence operations and made a mockery of the nation's diplomatic missions.
"There may be no soldier in the history of the army who displayed such an extreme disregard," Army Captain Joe Morrow said of the 25-year-old former junior intelligence analyst in Iraq. "At least 60 years is justified. Pfc. Manning is young. He deserves to spend the majority of his remaining life in prison."
But Manning's legal defence team, led by David Coombs, said the government was "only interested in punishment" rather than "the needs of the individual soldier". He urged the judge to impose a sentence short enough to permit Manning to someday return to society. "The defence requests a sentence that allows him to have a life," he said.
The maximum term that army judge Colonel Denise Lind said she could give Manning is 90 years, without the ability to apply for parole until he has served a third of his sentence. She will announce the sentence today.
The judge acquitted Manning of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, but convicted him on others, including six counts of violating the Espionage Act.