WikiLeaks: end of the preliminary hearing of Private Manning

FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) – The soldier Bradley Manning, accused of being responsible for distributing hundreds of thousands of classified documents on the WikiLeaks site, offered to the enemies of the United States an “unfettered access” secrets to the administration said a military prosecutor on Thursday.

The last day of the preliminary hearing before determining whether Manning is scheduled to appear before a court martial, Captain Ashden Fein said that the mass of notes posted on the Internet had helped al Qaeda.

Captain Fein cites as evidence a video of a man described as a recruiter for the Islamist movement evokes the WikiLeaks files and calls the jihadists to “enjoy the pool of resources available on the Internet today.”

Counsel for the first class Manning ruled, however, that his client had done nothing wrong and that the charge, which retained 22 charges, was in the hype.

“The sky did not fall, the sky has not fallen and the sky will not fall on our heads,” said David Coombs, calling the charge to reflect reality.

Bradley Manning, imprisoned since May 2010, could include assistance to meet the enemy, a crime punishable by death, even if the prosecution announced that it would require life imprisonment.

A former military intelligence analyst is accused of having copied his computer more than 700,000 documents related to the defense and American diplomacy by logging, while serving in Iraq, the SIPRNet, a military network.

These computer files were then distributed via the website created by Wikileaks Julian Assange.

Colonel Paul Almanza, who heads the investigation will now consider the arguments by the parties during the preliminary hearing held all week in Maryland.

It should recommend by January 16 if the soldier has to go or not Manning court-martial.

At that hearing, the prosecution tried to prove the existence of direct links between the soldier and Manning Assange.

She also portrayed the accused as a competent analyst and trusted who knew he was committing a crime by downloading these files and transmitting them to Wikileaks.

The defense has sought instead to present the Private Manning as a young man suffering from emotional disorders, doubting his sexual orientation and isolated. She blamed his superiors for not having considered warning signs.

David Coombs cited in particular the exchange of written notes between the upper Manning devoted to its instability and the need for him to start therapy.

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