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Media wants WikiLeaks trial docs public

Oct. 11, 2012 at 1:11 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Journalists are asking the nation's highest military court in Washington to make public records in the trial of alleged WikiLeaks source Pfc. Bradley Manning.

During an hourlong hearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Wednesday, the media organizations and others, including a lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, asked that legal briefs, court orders and other records be released, Politico reported.

The report said the five judges on the military court appeared to question why the issue had come before them.

Manning is charged with aiding the enemy, disclosing classified information and disobeying orders in the release of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. His trial is scheduled to begin in February.

Politico said the government has not released any documents, contending it is not constitutionally required to do so though the release of documents in the trial has not been specifically prohibited.

Army Capt. Chad Fisher, representing the government, said the presiding judge does not have the authority to release the documents.

The judges did not indicate when they would rule on the request -- or even if they would do so before the trial starts.

Politico said it and its parent, Allbritton Communications Co., are among 32 media organizations that urged the appeals court to make public the briefs, motions, orders and docket in the Manning court martial.

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