Military judge denies motion to dismiss Wikileaks charges

[JURIST] Army Col. Denise Lind on Friday denied a motion to dismiss eight of the 22 charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] for allegedly transferring vast amounts of classified information to Wikileaks [website; JURIST news archive]. The defense had argued that the charges against Manning were unconstitutionally vague. Manning's trial is scheduled to begin in September, but Lind indicated it could be delayed until November [AP report]. Manning's defense has argued that he never should have been deployed to Iraq or entrusted with confidential information because he is emotionally troubled since he was barred from openly serving as a gay man, and the leaks did not hurt US national security. The US Army has responded that Manning's actions indirectly aided al Qaeda [AP report].

The US military court referred Manning's case for court-martial [JURIST report] in February. Last month UN Special Rapporteur on torture the Juan Mendez accused the US government of cruel and inhuman treatment [JURIST report] against Manning. A US Army panel of experts declared Manning competent to stand trial [JURIST report] last April. Manning's prosecution has sparked heated debate between defenders and critics. Those who support Manning's actions refer to him as courageous for acting as a whistleblower [advocacy petition] against government crime and corruption. He has been compared to famous US whistleblowers such as Frank Serpico and Daniel Ellsberg [personal websites], who leaked information regarding corruption in the New York Police Department and the Pentagon, respectively.

 

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