WikiLeaks suspect preliminary hearing set

Nov. 22, 2011 at 7:49 AM
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FORT MEADE, Md., Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A military hearing for the Army private accused of giving classified materials to WikiLeaks will be next month at Fort Meade, Md., the private's lawyer said.

David E. Coombs, representing Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, said on his Web site the Article 32 hearing will evaluate the government's case and provide the defense a chance to get pretrial discovery.

The hearing starts Dec. 16 and should last five days, The Baltimore Sun reported. It will be Manning's first appearance in a military courtroom since his arrest in May 2010.

Manning, 23, faces a court-martial on nearly two dozen charges arising from the leak of hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, a whistle-blower Web site that has published information about governments and companies. The materials included war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq, State Department diplomatic cables and video footage of a 2007 helicopter attack in Baghdad in which 12 people died.

Manning's supporters, who said they plan to demonstrate during the hearing, said the information was incorrectly and illegally classified, and the leaker -- whoever the person is -- should receive whistle-blower protection, the Sun said.

If convicted, Manning could be sentenced to life in prison.

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