Prosecutors trying Bradley Manning, the 25-year-old soldier accused of engineering the largest intelligence leak in US history, are seeking to prove that al-Qaeda directly benefitted from access to the classified files.
They claim that when bin Laden requested information about US defence policy a subordinate emailed him with data taken from the trove of documents WikiLeaks published on the internet.Today, prosecutors argued they should be allowed to call a military “operator” -[...] The potential witness was named only as “John Doe” and referred to him as “the operator who actually collected the evidence in Abbottabad and handed it to an FBI agent in Afghanistan”.
Among the requested witnesses is a translator who examined “letters to and from bin Laden”.
Col Denise Lind, the military judge presiding over the case, has yet to rule on whether any evidence associated with bin Laden should be allowed in the trial, which is scheduled to begin in June.
Pfc Manning’s lawyers argue that al-Qaeda’s use of the information from WikiLeaks is irrelevant. The only issue at hand is whether the young soldier knew that the leaked information could be used by America’s enemies, they claim.
“[bin Laden's possession of leaked files] has no bearing on the knowledge Pfc Manning had when he gave the information to WikiLeaks,” said David Coombs, for the defence [...]