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November 9, 2012

Army private offers lesser plea in WikiLeaks case

(Continued)

FORT MEADE, Md. —

The plea offer, if accepted, could shorten the trial if the government wouldn’t have to spend time proving Manning actually leaked the documents, said Washington attorney Michael Navarre, a Navy judge advocate and adviser to the National Institute of Military Justice, a nonprofit, public-education group.

Navarre said a guilty plea could also lead the judge or sentencing jury to view Manning in a favorable light.

“One of the goals of accepting responsibility is to curry favor,” Navarre said.

The hearing continued Thursday on a defense request to have the case dismissed because Manning has not been given a speedy trial. It’s been two years and five months since Manning’s arrest. His arraignment came 635 days later, far in excess of the 120-day rule. Coombs contends military commanders rubber-stamped all prosecution requests for delays and improperly excluded other periods from the speedy-trial clock.

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