US wants to close Manning's trial to public

2013-06-25 21:08
Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning (Alex Wong, AFP)

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Fort Meade, Maryland - Lawyers for the US soldier accused of aiding the enemy by leaking thousands of classified documents raised no objection on Tuesday to a government proposal to close his trial to the public and press, possibly as early as this week, to protect evidence.

As Bradley Manning's trial entered its fourth week, defence attorney David Coombs told the military judge he had no objection to closing the courtroom while prosecutors read aloud the classified sections of written witness statements.

Prosecutors have said they expect to present as many as 17 such statements this week. The statements may include evidence about more than 250 000 State Department diplomatic cables Manning is accused of stealing from a classified computer database.

Manning denies the theft charge but has acknowledged he sent the cables, along with hundreds of thousands of classified war logs and some Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield videos, to the anti-secrecy organisation WikiLeaks. The former intelligence analyst has said he leaked the material to expose wrongdoing by US service members and diplomats.

The trial is to determine whether Manning is guilty of espionage, theft, computer fraud and aiding the enemy, which carries a possible life sentence.

Read more on:    wikileaks  |  chelsea manning  |  us  |  privacy

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