Clinton asked to testify for Manning

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The Independent US

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, the defence attorney David Coombs seemed 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 Ms 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 is guilty of "aiding the enemy", the most serious of the 36 charges brought against him, which carries a potential life sentence.

The request, which was posted by Mr Coombs, redacts Ms Clinton's actual name. But the wording he uses, which suggests that he is seeking to interview a senior female member of the US administration who has a responsibility for foreign affairs, allowed her identity to be subsequently reported by the Associated Press.

Ms 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'", the request document says.

Ms 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".

Mr Manning, 24, last appeared before an Army court at Fort Meade in Maryland in December, roughly 18 months after he was arrested in Iraq. He was given an Article 32 hearing, the equivalent of what civilian courts would call a pre-trial hearing, to establish whether a full prosecution should go ahead.

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