US WikiLeaks Suspect’s Hearing Concludes

Posted December 22nd, 2011 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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(( Title: US WIKILEAKS 1st UPD

HEAD: US WikiLeaks Suspect's Hearing Concludes

DATE: 12/22/11

PUBLISHED AT: Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:56:03 PM

NUMBER: 1776054




TYPE: CN ) )

The hearing to determine whether a U.S. Army intelligence analyst will be court martialed for allegedly passing classified documents to WikiLeaks has concluded.

The presiding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza, has until January 16 to make his recommendation on Private First Class Bradley Manning.

Manning faces 22 charges including aiding the enemy. The hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland — outside of Washington — concluded Thursday.

On Wednesday, experts for the prosecution testified they found evidence the intelligence analyst downloaded diplomatic cables onto compact discs that were sent to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Manning's lawyers have described their client as a troubled man who should not have been allowed access to classified material while serving in Iraq between November 2009 and May 2010.

Lawyers also said the military's oversight of the computers was lax, citing testimony by their witnesses that soldiers played video games on the computers.

Manning, who has not entered a plea, allegedly shared the documents with WikiLeaks, which began publishing them in July 2010. He could spend the rest of his life in prison if found guilty.

The leaked diplomatic cables and military reports roiled the international community, often providing blunt and unflattering U.S. views of world leaders' private and public lives.

U.S. officials say WikiLeaks' publication of the stolen documents put lives in danger, threatened national security and undermined American efforts to work with other countries.