Defence request denied in Manning case

2011-12-17 21:50

Fort Meade - An Army appeals court has rejected a defence effort to remove the presiding officer in the military hearing for the soldier blamed for the largest leak of classified material in American history.

The Army Court of Criminal Appeals has said the case against Army Private first class Bradley Manning will go forward with Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza as the presiding officer.

The defence wanted him to step aside because of alleged bias. Almanza is an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and Justice Department prosecutor. He rejected the request on Friday and refused to suspend the hearing pending an appeal.

A military legal expert told reporters on Saturday that the case will go forward with Almanza following the decision on Friday night by the appeals court to deny the defence request.