Hillary Clinton may be forced to appear before Manning's trial


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The Independent Online

Lawyers for Bradley Manning, the US military analyst accused of passing thousands of secret documents to Wikileaks, are seeking to force Hillary Clinton to give evidence at his court martial.

In a deposition request posted on his website yesterday, defence attorney David Coombs appeared to say that Ms Clinton would be able, as Secretary of State, to provide crucial details about how the affair has affected America's national security.

Mr Coombs is of the opinion that Clinton would say that the Wikileaks affair has not been particularly damaging to US interests. This could in theory undermine the prosecution's argument that Mr Manning, inset, is guilty of "aiding the enemy", the most serious of the 36 charges brought against him. It carries a potential life sentence.

The request posted by Mr Coombs redacts Ms Clinton's actual name. However the wording he uses, which suggests that he is seeking to interview a senior female member of the US administration with responsibility for foreign affairs, allowed her identity to be subsequently reported by the Associated Press. "[Clinton] will testify that she has raised the issue of disclosure of diplomatic cables with foreign leaders 'in order to assure our colleagues that it will not in any way interfere with American diplomacy or our commitment to continuing important work that is ongoing'," reads the request document.

"[Clinton] will testify that she has not had any concerns expressed to her about whether any nation would continue to work with the United States or would continue to discuss important matters going forward due to the alleged leaks. As such [she] will testify that although the leaks were embarrassing for the administration ... they did not represent significant consequences to foreign policy."