Update 1/12/12: Defense continues struggle for witnesses, Bradley Manning billboard up in DC

Today Bradley Manning’s lawyer David Coombs filed an oral deposition request, which he describes as “the out-of-court testimony of a witness under oath in response to questions by the defense.”

He continued, “The defense requested deposition is needed due to these witnesses being improperly denied at the Article 32 hearing.”

The government originally denied 38 of the defense’s 48 witness for the Article 32 hearing.

A GoogleDoc version, which you can download as a PDF, of the oral deposition request is here.

The request asks for five people to testify. Their names are redacted, but their descriptions indicate why their testimony would be valuable. For example, the first “will testify about his classification review of the three Apache gun videos that were sent to his Division by FORSCOM. Specifically, he will testify that the videos were not classified at the time of their alleged release. However, he will testify that he believes that videos should have been classified.”

Coombs argues that despite the Investigating Officer’s “improper determination” that the witness wasn’t “reasonably available” to testify at the pre-trial hearing, the witness was and remains “essential” to the case.

Coombs concludes by requesting that the government promptly informs the defense of its response to the deposition request. We’ll report again when the government responds.

A Bradley Manning billboard, reading “Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime,” has been put up in Washington D.C. in preparation for the announcement of Bradley’s trial. Check out the Washington Post article covering it.

The army has rejected a petition by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange to gain guaranteed access to Bradley Manning’s court proceedings. WikiLeaks sought access to the proceedings out of a belief that they will in the future affect a U.S. case against Assange. They were also denied the ability to have a lawyer with proper security clearances sit in on the portions of the proceedings that the public is removed from. From the article:

“We are disappointed by the ruling, but like much of the Manning proceedings themselves, this decision is inscrutable,” said Baher Azmy of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brough the petition for Assange and WikiLeaks. “The court offers no analysis whatsoever for its ruling, so as much as we strongly disagree with the judgment, we literally cannot understand — or respond to — the reason(s) apparently underlying it.”

Check out this awesome infographic put together by the ACLU to discuss Guantanamo Bay prison. Most of this data came from documents Bradley allegedly released.

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