The latest pretrial hearing for the Army analyst accused of masterminding the largest leak of diplomatic and military secrets in U.S. history is expected to end today in military court at Fort Meade in Maryland, about twenty minutes away from Columbia.
Pfc. Bradley Manning, a 24-year-old from Oklahoma, is charged with giving WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan.
At issue during this week’s hearings: what kinds of evidence will be admissible in the jury trial scheduled for early next year.
Manning’s attorneys argued that military prosecutors have withheld half of the roughly 1,400 emails relating to his detention in a maximum-security military brig, reported CBS.com.
Attorneys say those emails show the military’s preoccupation with bad publicity rather than Manning’s detention at Quantico, VA, where he was confined alone for 23 hours a day, CBS reported. The treatment provoked allegations of torture from Manning supporters.
A group of Manning supporters protested outside Fort Meade on Tuesday, shown in a video by The Baltimore Sun.
“We really hope he has a fair trial today—if that’s even possible at this point,” one protestor told The Sun.
The presiding judge is expected to rule today on procedural questions and whether to allow the jury hear evidence about a previous incident of misconduct.
Manning’s charge—“aiding the enemy”—carries a sentence of up to life in prison.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remains in Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he has been given political asylum in order to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sex-offense charges, reported The Guardian.
What do you think of Bradley Manning's alleged actions? Is he a traitor or a hero?