Defense Seeks Dismissal of Charges Against Manning
Lawyers for an Army private who gave reams of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks asked a court-martial judge to dismiss some of the charges against him.
Pfc. Bradley Manning’s lawyers made the motion over the weekend, military spokeswoman Shaunteh Kelly said. Manning’s trial entered its sixth week Monday at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.
Kelly said she did not know which charges the defense was seeking to dismiss. The four motions asked the judge to acquit Manning of some charges, she said.
The military judge, Col. Denise Lind, will consider the motions after the prosecutions responds to the filings.
The prosecution rested July 2 in its effort to prove the 25-year-old former intelligence analyst from Crescent, Okla., aided the enemy by indirectly letting military secrets fall into the hands of al-Qaida and its former leader Osama bin Laden. Manning denies the allegation.
After the prosecution rests, military courts, like civilian courts, allow the defense to seek dismissal of the charges because of insufficient prosecution evidence.
Manning has acknowledged sending more than 700,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and State Department diplomatic cables, along with several battlefield video clips, to WikiLeaks while working in Baghdad from November 2009 through May 2010. Much of the material was published on the WikiLeaks website.
Defense attorney David Coombs as described Manning as a young and naive, but a good-intentioned soldier whose struggle to fit in as a gay man in the military made him feel he "needed to do something to make a difference in this world."
Manning told the military judge in February he leaked the war logs to document "the true costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," including the deaths of two Reuters employees killed in a U.S. helicopter attack. Manning said the diplomatic cables revealed secret pacts and deceit he thought should be exposed.