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Fri June 8, 2012
Court Refuses To Dismiss Charges Against WikiLeaks Suspect
Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 5:38 pm
A military judge refused to dimiss 10 of the 22 counts against Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who stands accused of giving classified information to WikiLeaks.
"Col. Denise Lind also indicated she will postpone Pfc.Bradley Manning's trial, currently set to start Sept. 21, to November or January because of procedural delays.
"Manning is charged with knowingly aiding al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula by causing the online publication of hundreds of thousands of classified State Departmentdiplomatic cables and Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, along with some battlefield video clips. Authorities say the 24-year-old Crescent, Okla., native downloaded the files from a Defense Department network and sent them to the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2009 and 2010."
The defense argued that the government was using unconstitutionally vague language to charge Manning. Lind disagreed.
But as MSNBC reports, the defense did seem to win a concession from Lind on two counts that he exceeded his authorization and use of the military intranet system.
"While Lind denied the motion to dismiss the charges, she agreed with a previous ruling in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that calls for a very narrow reading of a statute that applies to the charge. She raised the burden of proof for the government when it eventually prosecutes Manning on this charge at his trial.
"Lind told the government that it will have to present strong evidence that Manning exceeded his authorized access in order to prove this charge in his trial. Since this is still a pre-trial hearing, the government prosecutors can still dismiss the charges themselves, or even alter them, before the trial ever begins."