Accused Wikileaker Loses Bid to Replace Investigating Officer

Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of passing on a trove of government secrets to Wikileaks, faced the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing on Friday. It was the first time the 23-year-old appeared in public since his May 2010 arrest. Manning’s lawyer argued at the pretrial hearing to determine whether Manning should face a court-martial that the case’s presiding officer was biased because of his civilian job as a Justice Department prosecutor. But the presiding officer, Army Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, refused the request, saying he was not connected to the Justice Department’s investigation of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. If the case goes to trial, Manning faces life in prison on charges he aided the enemy by leaking classified documents.

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