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Special Precautions Taken For Witness In Trial Of Bradley Manning

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Special precautions will be taken when a witness for the prosecution testifies in the trial of Army Private Bradley Manning in Ft. Meade, Md.

The witness, presumed to be a Navy SEAL, is believed to have evidence gathered during the May 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound. Prosecutors say that evidence will show the al-Qaida leader had copies of documents Manning admitted he gave to the website Wikileaks.

The CIA and the Department of Defense have demanded absolute anonymity for the witness, who is only identified as John Doe , or DoD operative. Although all the conditions have not been worked out, Judge Denise Lind suggested the presumed SEAL Team 6 member would testify in a closed session, from a secret location and in a disguise subtle enough to convey facial expressions and body language for purposes of cross examination.

In addition, the judge ordered a two-day dry run with a sample witness in place of the unidentified Navy SEAL. The stand in will testify and submit to cross examination during a closed session to determine if there are any options to holding testimony behind closed doors. That dry run is scheduled to begin May 7.

Although Manning pleaded guilty to 10 minor charges, prosecutors still seek to find him guilty on 22 additional charges including aiding he enemy which carries a penalty of life in prison.

Manning's court martial is scheduled to begin June 3.


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