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Defense For Army Pfc. Bradley Manning Opens Their Case

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Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is charged with aiding the enemy by causing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to be published on the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is charged with aiding the enemy by causing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to be published on the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks.

Lawyers for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who gave classified information to WikiLeaks, have opened their defense at his court-martial in Maryland.

Attorneys for Manning began presenting evidence Monday as the trial entered its sixth week at Fort Meade. They opened with video of a 2007 helicopter attack in Baghdad that Manning leaked. That 40-minute cockpit recording in which two Reuters reporters were killed is part of reams of classified information Manning is accused of giving to Wikileaks.

Earlier Monday, Manning's defense team asked the military judge to acquit him of as many as seven charges for lack of incriminating evidence. The government has until Thursday to respond, then Col. Denise Lind will rule.

Later, the defense called its first witness. Chief Warrant Officer Joshua Erisman testified about the broad authorization for documents held by Manning and other intelligence analysts in Iraq. The defense is expected to call between 25 and 50 witnesses during the course of the trial.

The defense seeks acquittal on the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, a computer fraud charge and as many as five counts of theft. Details of the motions weren't discussed in court.

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