The military trial of Private First Class Bradley Manning resumes today at Fort Meade in Maryland. Manning stands accused of charges that include violation of the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy for his actions in releasing a trove of classified files to the anti-secrecy website Wikileaks. The court recessed last week while deciding how to handle presentation of evidence that contains classified information.
From CBS News Baltimore:
Lawyers for Army leaker Pfc. Bradley Manning raised no objection Tuesday to a proposal to have the military judge in the case silently read written witness statements to protect their confidentiality.
As the trial entered its fourth week, defense attorney David Coombs told the military judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, he had no objection to the plan. Classified material in the statements would be protected if the statements are not read aloud, which would mean the courtroom would not need to be closed while they are read.
Prosecutors have said they expect to present as many as 17 such statements this week. The statements, called stipulations of expected testimony, may include evidence about more than 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables Manning is accused of stealing from a classified computer database.
Manning has already admitted to leaking classified documents and videos to Wikileaks, but has denied the charges of theft and aiding the enemy, saying that he leaked the information in order to spark a debate about foreign and military policy.
Unofficial court transcripts are being provided by the Freedom of the Press Foundation.
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