US Army preps for WikiLeaks trial

The US Army is preparing to conduct a pre-trial hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning. The soldier stands accused of transferring thousands of classified documents that eventually ended up on the whistle-blowing WikiLeaks site.

According to the Washington Times, the trial has been delayed over “disagreements” between prosecutors and U.S. intelligence agencies over what types of classified information can be used to try Manning.

“[It is] taking a while because parts and pieces of the information belong to a lot of different agencies. So I know there was a lot intense coordination amongst everyone with all the different agencies,” an Army spokesperson told the Times.

“Because the case involves computers and classified information, that makes it a very complex case which requires some pretty methodical investigation. Another factor contributing to the length of the process is that, under the rules for courts-martial, it requires the prosecution to ensure that the defense team has the proper security clearances for review of classified evidence.”

Manning is currently being held in the brig at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he is awaiting trial that will be held somewhere “in the Washington area.”

Unlike his previous confinement in Quantico, Manning is not restricted to his cell 23 hours a day, as he is permitted to socialize with other pre-trial prisoners in a common area that includes a TV, treadmill and showers.

“He is provided with a normal mattress, sheets and a pillow. None of his clothing is taken away from him at night,” Manning’s civilian attorney, David E. Coombs, confirmed in a blog post.

“[He] is able to have all of his personal items in his cell, which include his clothing, his legal materials, books and letters from family and friends. He is also able to have a pen and paper at all times in his cell, and is able to write whenever he chooses.”