Judge Rules Tweets May Be Used as Evidence in Bradley Manning Trial
Military Judge Col. Denise Lind ruled Friday that two tweets posted by Wikileaks can be permitted as evidence in the case against Army Private First Class Bradley Manning.
From FOX News:
A military judge has ruled that prosecutors can introduce tweets suggesting an Army private took his cues from WikiLeaks in disclosing classified information.
However, Col. Denise Lind also ruled Friday against another piece of prosecution evidence in the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.
Attorneys in the case have been arguing over the authenticity of two tweets in particular – one in which Wikileaks solicited .mil email addresses from the public, and another referencing video of a US airstrike.
Have encrypted videos of US bomb strikes on civilians http://bit.ly/wlafghan2 we need super computer time http://ljsf.org/
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 8, 2010
We would like a list of as many .mil email addresses as possible. Please contact [email protected] or submit
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) May 7, 2010
The prosecution contends that Manning’s actions were influenced by Wikileaks, and the evidence will go toward their overall argument in the charge that the soldier “aided the enemy.” A special agent with the Army Criminal Investigative Command had captured cached versions of the tweets, previously submitted for consideration as evidence. Though the tweets still appear publicly, changes in Twitter’s platform have affected the current URLs.
Defense attorneys for Manning had argued that the tweets could not be determined to be authentic because “anyone can create a Web page…that looks like WikiLeaks or that looks like Twitter,” according to court transcripts.
But Judge Lind ruled Friday that the tweets could be considered authentic because “the text of both tweets, along with the WikiLeaks logo, their date and time, and their serial numbers are identical despite the changes to the URL,” according to the Huffington Post.
FOX News also reports that the Judge would not however at this time allow a WikiLeaks “most wanted” list from 2009 that was submitted by the prosecution for consideration as evidence, but that prosecutors can still try to authenticate the list.
That list is presumably Wikileaks’ “The Most Wanted Leaks of 2009.”
Unofficial court transcripts are available daily at the trial’s transcripts page on the Freedom of the Press Foundation website.
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[…] week, the judge ruled that those tweets from Wikileaks could also be used as evidence, after defense attorneys unsuccessfully argued that their […]