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WikiLeaks Ruling May Affect Most Serious Charge Against Manning

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The judge in the case of Bradley Manning has issued a ruling that could affect one of the most serious charges against the army private. The charge of aiding the enemy is just one of 22 charges against the former intelligence analyst, but it is the most egregious.

Judge Col. Denise Lind ruled During Wednesday's pretrial hearing that in order for Manning to be convicted of that charge, government prosecutors must prove that he knew his actions could be harmful to the United States because the information he leaked would be seen by members of al-Qaeda.

Lind also cleared the way for defense attorneys to present evidence that Manning selectively leaked information that he believed would not harm American interests.

In another issue, defense attorney David Coombs accused the government of violating Manning's right to a speedy trial. If the trial begins as scheduled on June 3, Manning will have spent 1,101 days in pretrial confinement. Government prosecutors defended the length of time taken, emphasizing the volume of evidence needed to move forward.

The judge delayed ruling on the speedy trial motion. The hearing resumes Feb. 26.

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