Manning back in court for Wikileaks hearings; trial faces delays

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of one of the biggest intelligence leaks in U.S. history, is back in court at Ft. Meade, Md., for more in a series of pre-trial hearings in the Wikileaks scandal.

Expected to last three days, the pre-trial hearing on June 6 consisted mostly of legal wrangling over the release of documents that assess the damage done to U.S. security and interests by the release of hundreds of thousands of classified logs, videos and cables.

Attorneys for Manning, a former military intelligence analyst, argued that the prosecution is withholding information that could benefit the defense. Prosecutors countered that the defense team of making “unreasonable” and overly broad requests for documents to slow down proceedings, according to a Defense Department release.

On Thursday Col. Denise Lind, the judge presiding over the case, ordered the prosecution to hand over documents that could aid the defense – and to do so without being explicitly requested.

“If you see a document that is material to the preparation of the defense … even if you don’t have a specific request for that information, disclose it,” Lind said, according to ABC News.

Lind also increased the number of pre-trial hearings as a preemptive measure against logjams of information and documents that may now be released.

So far, hearings are scheduled for July 16 to 20, Aug. 27 to 31 and Sept. 19 to 20. The trial is slated to begin Sept. 21, but that date could be pushed back if Lind grants Manning’s attorneys’ request for more time to review documents they feel could prove the leaks had little impact on national security.



About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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