Bradley Manning Wikileaks: Court to Weigh Dismissal

Apr 24, 2012 10:07am
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(Image Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Alleged Wikileaker Army PFC Bradley Manning is back in a Ft. Meade, Md., courtroom today for the third time this year, where a judge is expected to decide whether to dismiss charges against him.

Manning is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of top-secret documents while serving as an Army intelligence analyst.

The oral arguments set to be heard throughout the next three days will focus on the defense’s request for dismissal of all charges following their claim that military prosecutors have failed to hand over a broad range of documents potentially helpful to the defense.

Rather than restart the discovery process that began two years ago, the defense is asking the judge to dismiss the case.

The government stipulates that they have been compliant throughout the process.

The judge has the option of dismissing all charges with prejudice, which would mean that the case against Manning is effectively over.

The defense has also filed motions to dismiss the charges of aiding the enemy, as well as the charges of “wrongfully and wantonly” publishing intelligence information belonging to the government on the Internet, stipulating that they are effectively the same charge and should be charged as one course of conduct.

The prosecution, however, says that Congress intended the laws to be separate and individual charges.

According to a military legal expert, the judge will examine all the charges by lining them up to see how they compare.

The date for Manning’s court martial is expected to get underway later this summer.   Manning has yet to enter a plea or select whether he wants to be tried by a military judge or a military jury.

Court is expected to start at 10 a.m.; the prosecution and defense are expected to meet with the judge prior to court to deal with administrative matters.

The AP contributed to this report.

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