Bradley Manning’s first court hearing scheduled

Alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning, suspected in the illegal release of troves of government files from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan along with thousands of classified diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, is going to court.

The files, including video from an aerial assault in Iraq along with many diplomatic cables which strained international ties, were published by WikiLeaks starting in spring 2010.

Matthew Hay Brown at The Baltimore sun reports:

The hearing is scheduled to begin on Dec. 16 and is expected to last five days, according to [Defense Attorney David E.] Coombs. The defense may call witnesses and cross-examine the government’s witnesses. Witnesses are placed under oath, and their testimony may be used during a trial.

On BoingBoing, Xeni Jardin points to Manning’s support network, which reminds us that:

This will be PFC Manning’s first appearance before a court and the first time he will face his accusers after 17 months in confinement. In a blog post this morning, Manning’s lead counsel, David Coombs, notified supporters that the pretrial phase is scheduled to last five days.

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