Trial of Bradley Manning to begin soon

bradley_manningThe trial of Mr. Bradley Manning, a US Army analyst suspected of leaking government secrets, will start on a military court on 16 December, according to his lawyer.

He is accused of obtaining and distributing government secrets and afterwards leaking it to Wiki leaks.

The hearing will be based on the Article 32 of the US constitution which states that pre-trial investigation and hearing conducted before charges are referred to trial for court-martial. It may be conducted by a Judge Advocate General (JAG) officer or non-JAG officer. It will be the first opportunity for his defence team to present their case.

He was arrested in Iraq in May 2010 for allegedly leaking information regarding state secrets to Wikileaks and is held in military custody. As the hearing will be based largely on article 32, and will be similar to a pre-trial hearing, both prosecuting and defence lawyers will make their initial cases and are permitted to cross-examine witnesses.

The trial is supposedly to be held around for a period of five days and after that it will be recommended to military general, who will eventually decide whether to proceed to a full trial. He have also been charged with “aiding the enemy”, a charge that often leads to death penalty. However, reportedly, the prosecutors only want to seek a prison sentence. The conditions of Mr. Manning’s confinement since the time of his arrest have been deeply criticized.

Even it lead to the resignation of the state department spokesman PJ Crowley after he publicly criticizing the detention conditions of Mr. Manning. Mr. Manning was brought to the maximum security prison at Quantico in July 2010, where he was held in isolation and was reported to have had his clothing removed at night as a suicide-prevention measure. But in April 2011 he was moved to a lower security prison at Fort Leavenworth, where his lawyers say conditions are better.

Report by Indrani Chowdury