Military judge rejects Wikileaks defendant's request to dismiss charges

[JURIST] US Army Colonel Denise Lind, who is presiding over the prosecution of Bradley Manning [advocacy website; JURIST news archive], on Tuesday dismissed a defense motion [text] arguing that Manning should be released based on a lack of a speedy trial. Lind indicated [Reuters report] that Manning had been arraigned within the legal parameters, and the time between his arraignment and trial was reasonable and necessary to enable pre-trial procedures such as psychological examinations for Manning, security clearance for attorneys and evidence, and the organization of all of the classified information in the case. When the motion was submitted, Manning had been in custody for 845 days, and has currently served over 1,000 days in military detention. Manning is being held in a solitary confinement unit.

Manning's case has engendered a great deal of controversy. In Janurary Lind ruled that the prosecution most prove that Manning knew he was aiding the enemy and that the treatment he received while in military custody was illegal and excessive [JURIST reports]. In November the judge overseeing the case accepted a partial guilty plea offered by Manning [JURIST reports] earlier in the month. In August JURIST guest columnist Philip Cave argued that the lack of transparency [JURIST comment] in Manning's case undermines the validity of the eventual verdict. In June Lind ordered the prosecution to submit to her a number of files that were allegedly withheld from the defense during discovery [JURIST report]. Earlier in June Lind denied a motion [JURIST report] to dismiss eight of the 22 charges against Manning after his defense had argued they were unconstitutionally vague. In May UN Special Rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez accused the US government of cruel and inhuman treatment [JURIST report] of Manning. The US military court referred Manning's case for court-martial in February 2012 after a US Army panel of experts declared Manning competent to stand trial [JURIST reports] last April.

 

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