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Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning declines to enter plea

Washington , Fri, 24 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb 24 (ANI): US Army private Bradley Manning has declined to enter a plea to charges that he handed a massive cache of classified US documents to whistle blowing website WikiLeaks.


Manning, 24, decided to defer pleading guilty or not guilty to allegations that he was the source of the largest intelligence leak in US history and that he had aided the country's enemies.


He also deferred a decision on whether he wished to be tried by a military jury or a judge alone, The Telegraph reports.


According to the report, the reasons for the deferment were not immediately clear, but it appeared that Manning's defence team is waiting on the outcome of legal motions they submitted demanding more detail of the prosecution's case.


David Coombs, Manning's civilian defence lawyer, said that his client's due process rights were being infringed by the slow progress and that the case should to go to trial no later than June.


Manning was arrested in Camp Liberty, near Baghdad, in May 2010 and spent nine months in solitary confinement in a military prison in Virginia before being transferred to a lower security facility in Kansas.


He is charged with 22 counts in connection with one of the biggest intelligence breaches in US history.


That charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.


According to the report, the next hearing is scheduled on March 15. (ANI)


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