Wikileaks Soldier Bradley Manning to Get First Court Appearance After 17 Months in Confinement

Accused Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning will get his first pretrial hearing on December 16:

ManningThe primary purpose of the Article 32 hearing is "to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the government's case as well as to provide the defense with an opportunity to obtain pretrial discovery," attorney David E. Coombs wrote Monday on his website.

The defense may call witnesses and cross-examine the government's witnesses, Coombs wrote. Witnesses are placed under oath, and their testimony may be used during a trial.

Writes the Bradley Manning Support Network: "This will be PFC Manning’s first appearance before a court and the first time he will face his accusers after 17 months in confinement. In a blog post this morning, Manning’s lead counsel, David Coombs, notified supporters that the pretrial phase is scheduled to last five days."