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27 Feb, 2013 12:33

US prosecutors go all-out against Manning, claim bin Laden benefitted from WikiLeaks

US prosecutors go all-out against Manning, claim bin Laden benefitted from WikiLeaks

US prosecutors are set to call a Navy SEAL – possibly one who participated in the killing of Osama bin Laden – to testify against alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning to prove he ‘aided the enemy,’ a crime punishable by death in the US.

A military court will examine the case to prove that Al-Qaeda directly benefitted from access to the classified diplomatic cables leaked by the 25-year-old soldier. Private Manning was arrested in May 2010 and accused of leaking the documents to whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The new possible witness in the case was identified as ‘John Doe,’ and referred to as "the operator who actually collected the evidence in Abbottabad and handed it to an FBI agent in Afghanistan,” the Guardian reported.

‘John Doe’ will also be permitted to testify away from the military court where the case is being heard, upon the prosecution’s request.

British media has speculated that due to the secrecy surrounding the testimony, the military officer may be one of those who took part in the 2011 killing of Al-Qaeda leader 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.

On Tuesday, an army court ruled that Manning would remain in a military prison while awaiting trial, following the refusal of a separate request to dismiss the charges against the alleged whistleblower.

It was also revealed that Manning wrote a personal statement from 24 to 35 pages in length, according to different sources. In the document, Manning supposedly explained why he leaked the classified documents to WikiLeaks.

The US government has attempted to block Manning from reading the statement, saying that large portions of it are irrelevant to the court proceedings, the Telegraph reported.

Manning’s defense does not want the word terrorism to emerge during the proceedings and they are challenging testimony from Navy SEALs because it could reduce even further the slight possibility of Manning having a fair trial, Kevin Gosztola, a journalist covering the case told RT.

“Certainly the fear here I think is that you would be sensationalizing the proceedings and it would make it nearly impossible for Manning to have a fair trial just because we’d now be talking about terrorism,” Gosztola said. “And terrorism will get away from the fact that he is charged with the offence of releasing the information and they don’t have to show that terrorists received it.”

Bradley Manning London protest (Image from twitter.com user @LonFoWL)

Rally in spport of Bradley Manning in Vancouver Canada. (Image from twitter.com user@chupichupsi)

Danielle Green from the Bradley Manning Support Group, holds a sign during a rally at the entrance to Fort George G. Meade on November 27, 2012. (AFP Photo / Mark Wilson)