Bradley Manning Trial -- clear case of Conflict of Interests
by judd Wednesday, Jun 6 2012, 12:23pm
international / injustice/law / commentary
Defence lawyers seek to have 10 charges dismissed
The first thing that strikes those following the Bradley Manning case is the clear case of conflict of interests. It is the military that stands accused of war crimes via evidence that Bradley Manning allegedly supplied to WikiLeaks. Obviously the accused military cannot sit in judgement of the alleged facilitator (Manning) to the accuser, WikiLeaks. In the interests of a fair trial Manning's case must be heard independently, outside the sphere of military influence. Numerous courts in the country are able to hear this case. Manning's lawyers have not taken a vigorous enough stand and DEMANDED that the case be heard by an independent, non-military court.
FORT MEADE, Maryland — WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning appeared at a military court outside Washington Wednesday for a pretrial hearing at which his lawyers were seeking dismissal of 10 of the 22 counts against him.
A frail-looking Manning was seated between two members of his defense team as the hearing got underway after an hour-long closed door hearing between lawyers for both sides.
The defense are set to argue their case at a three-day hearing at the military tribune where Manning, 24, is on trial for allegedly leaking hundreds of thousands of military logs from Iraq and Afghanistan and US diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks while serving as a low-ranking intelligence analyst in Iraq.
In motions filed ahead of the hearing, defense lawyers said the US government used "unconstitutionally vague" or "substantially overbroad" language in eight counts of their indictment, in which Manning is accused of "possession and disclosure of sensitive information."
For two other counts, in which Manning is accused of "having knowingly exceeded authorized access" to a secret Defense Department computer network, defense lawyers said the government failed to state an offense.
Manning, who was formally charged in February, faces a September 21 trial for "aiding the enemy" -- a charge that carries a potential life sentence -- in addition to numerous other counts.
He is being tried at a Fort Meade military base in Maryland, a short distance from the US capital.
© 2012 AFP