Bradley Manning: Defense Motion To Dismiss Charges in WikiLeaks Case Denied

 @ashleyportero
on April 25 2012 11:07 AM
Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning is escorted by military police from the courthouse at Fort Meade in Maryland Reuters

A military judge refused to dismiss charges against  Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of the biggest leak of government secrets in U.S. history when he allegedly leaked classified documents to the website WikiLeaks without authorization.

Army Col. Denise Lind denied the defense motion on Wednesday during a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland, according to The Associated Press. Lawyers for Manning had demanded all 22 counts against him be tossed out, arguing that the government has consistently stashed away crucial information that could have helped their client prepare his defense.

The negative ruling means the hearing will continue as scheduled through Thursday. The AP reports Lind has tentatively scheduled Manning's trial to run from Sept. 21 through Oct. 12.

Manning's defense has filed a separate motion seeking dismissal of the most severe charge of aiding the enemy. The 24-year-old defendant could face life in military prison if he is convicted on the charge, which is typically a capital offense. The prosecution has said it will not seek the death penalty in Manning's case.

Manning is accused of  transmitting hundreds of thousands of classified government documents to WikiLeaks while he was working as an Army intelligence analyst. The defendant allegedly downloaded the files from military computers while he was stationed in Baghdad in late 2009 and early 2010.

Among the trove of materials leaked to the anti-secrecy website was a cockpit video of a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack that killed several civilians, including a Reuters news photographer, in Baghdad. The video went viral on the Internet under the name Collateral Murder.

Manning has been incarcerated in military prison since he was charged in May 2010. He has yet to enter a plea in the case.

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