February 27, 2013

Judge claims 1000 days in prison is a speedy trial

Guardian, UK - The judge presiding over the prosecution of alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning has ruled that the US soldier was brought to trial in good time and did not have his constitutional rights violated, removing the final impediments to a full court martial trial in June.

The ruling dashes the defence team's hopes of having the charges against Manning dismissed. His lead lawyer, David Coombs, had argued in legal argument to the court that "extreme foot-dragging" by the prosecution had violated the accused's right to a speedy trial.

The judge, Colonel Denise Lind, spent two hours reading out her judgement to a pre-trial hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland. She went through the procedures in preparing for trial in minute detail, concluding that the exceptional length of the case was almost entirely justified as a result of its uniquely complex and sensitive nature.

The question of how long the WikiLeaks source has been held in prison has become a hot-button issue in the case. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in 70 locations around the world last Saturday to protest the 1,000th day Manning has been in military custody without trial.

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