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Pentagon Snubs Leaker’s Lawyers

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Philip Shenon
Daily Beast
June 20, 2010

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hired lawyers to represent the Army intel analyst accused of leaking State Dept. secrets. But the Pentagon sent them away. Philip Shenon reports on WikiLeaks concerns about Bradley Manning’s treatment in custody—and the video of a U.S. massacre in Afghanistan, coming as soon as next week.

The secretive whisteblowing website WikiLeaks said Friday night that its founder, Julian Assange, had hired private criminal defense lawyers to represent the 22-year-old Army intelligence specialist accused of providing WikiLeaks with highly classified combat videos from Iraq and Afghanistan.

But Birgitta Jonsdottir, a parliamentarian in Iceland who acts as a spokeswoman for the website, said in a telephone interview from Reykjavik that the Pentagon had refused this week to allow the lawyers to meet the Army intel analyst, Bradley Manning.

Jonsdottir said Assange had hired private lawyers several days ago because of growing alarm that the accused whistleblower is being mistreated by the Defense Department.

Manning, who has been assigned military counsel, is reported to be in custody in Kuwait and has not been heard from publicly since he was arrested three weeks ago.

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This article was posted: Sunday, June 20, 2010 at 5:48 am





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