News Column

Manning's Request for Dismissal Denied

February 26, 2013

A request to dismiss charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning in the mass disclosure of secrets by WikiLeaks was denied Tuesday at his Fort Meade, Md., trial.

Manning's lawyers filed a motion to dismiss all charges, arguing the government had violated his right to a speedy trial, but judge Col. Denise Lind noted the case took only 90 days to come to trial, well within the 120-day rule that exists for a court martial, a reference to the time between pre-trial confinement and arraignment.

Manning, 25, was arrested outside a U.S. Army base near Baghdad where he worked as an intelligence analyst and is accused of releasing hundreds of thousands of classified documents, including U.S. diplomatic cables and military reports. Government secrets, exposed by the organization WikiLeaks on its website, beginning in 2010, outraged U.S. officials, who said damage to national security endangered American lives, The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.

Although Lind's ruling noted the 120-day window for bringing accused military personnel to an arraignment, Manning entered his thousandth day of confinement during the weekend, the British newspaper The Guardian noted Tuesday.

Manning's primary lawyer, David Coombs, accused the government of deliberately dragging its feet in the trial, pointing out it took 530 days to collect classification reviews of sensitive material from several government departments.

"The government's behavior is nothing short of shameful," Coombs wrote in a legal argument to the court. "These classifications were not Tolstoy novels. They were generally documents that spanned three or four pages. Five-hundred-thirty days spent languishing in the brig is a long time."

The court-martial portion of the trial is expected to begin June 3.



Source: Copyright United Press International 2013


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