A military judge at Fort Meade refused to throw out charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking thousands of confidential documents to WikiLeaks.
Manning's defense filed for all charges to be dismissed after they said the prosecutors were not following through on appropriate information sharing.
However, Army Col. Denise Lind refused the dismissal, instead setting a court date for the Manning trial to take place between September 21 and October 21. The hearing will continue to run through Thursday, during which Manning's defense team will attempt to have certain charges dropped from the list.
Specifically, the defense wishes to drop the charge of "aiding the enemy," saying Manning had no intent to do so. The prosecutors will respond by saying intent isn't needed to be charged with such a crime.
There have also been questions over Manning's treatment during his first year at Quantico, where he was confined to a single-cell for 23 hours a day and forced to sleep naked to prevent suicide. A suicide-proof smock was issued after some officials, including former State Department Spokesman and Air Force Colonel P.J. Crowley spoke out over his treatment.
In March 2011, Crowley resigned as spokesman for the State Department after calling Manning's treatment at Quantico "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid" while speaking to students at MIT. But now Crowley states treatment of Manning has improved and the trial is on the right track.
"The focus of the legal proceeding is rightly on what he is accused of doing," Crowley told RTTNews Wednesday. "After the Army transferred him from Quantico to Fort Leavenworth, the mistreatment was corrected and has not been an issue in the courtroom."
Manning was arrested after having found to have leaked thousands of items (video, documents, etc.) to the antic-secrecy website WikiLeaks during his time as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad. One of the first, and most widely reported, leaked items was a video of a U.S. Apache helicopter killing a number of civilians, including a Reuters photographer, in Iraq in 2007.
by RTT Staff Writer
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