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Wikileaker among Nobel peace nominees

world Updated: Feb 28, 2012 23:32 IST

AP
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The Nobel Peace Prize jury has received 231 nominations for this year's award, a spokesman said, with publicly disclosed candidates including a former Ukrainian prime minister and the US soldier accused of leaking classified material to WikiLeaks.

The secretive committee doesn't reveal who has been nominated, but those with nomination rights sometimes announce their picks.

Names put forward this year include Bradley Manning, the US Army private charged with the biggest leak of classified information in US history, Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Being nominated doesn't say anything about a candidate's chances. A wide range of submissions come in every year from lawmakers, university professors and others with nomination rights, but the decision rests solely with a five-member panel appointed by Norway's parliament.

This year's list of candidates is a mix of repeat nominations and new names, the Norwegian Nobel Committee's nonvoting secretary Geir Lundestad told The Associated Press. "They are from all over the world, very many well-known names and some that are not so well-known to the public," he added.

The deadline for outside nominations was February 1, but the five-member committee added its own suggestions at a meeting Friday, Lundestad said.

Some critics say the committee has departed from award founder Alfred Nobel's intentions by broadening the scope of the peace prize to include efforts to promote the environment and human rights.

Earlier this month a Swedish authority that oversees foundations in Stockholm - including the Nobel Foundation - said it would investigate whether the peace committee is complying with Nobel's will.