Judge rejects claim of ‘extreme foot-dragging’ in case against WikiLeaks soldier
Posted Feb 27, 2013 8:21 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A U.S. military judge has denied a request to dismiss charges against a soldier accused of providing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks.
Lawyers for Pfc. Bradley Manning had argued his speedy trial rights were violated, report Reuters, the Guardian and CNet. He has been jailed for more than 1,000 days. But the military judge, Col. Denise Lind, said on Tuesday that there were legitimate reasons for delay, including the need to process security clearances, obtain mental health evaluations and coordinate with government agencies regarding classified information.
Manning’s lead lawyer, David Coombs, had accused the government of "extreme foot-dragging,” the Guardian says. The defense is now recommending a plea bargain that would result in a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Lind will consider the deal on Thursday.
A court martial is scheduled for June if Lind rejects the deal. One of the charges against Manning, aiding the enemy, could result in life in prison.