Trial Continues with Increased Burden in Military WikiLeaks Case
The trial of an Army private accused of providing highly classified information to the information sharing website WikiLeaks is continuing with new stipulations for prosecutors. As reported by The New York Times, the presiding judge in the WikiLeaks trial ruled during a pretrial that prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant has reason to believe that the files he allegedly supplied to WikiLeaks could harm the United States or aid another country.
Should this be found, the man could be found guilty of violating the Espionage Act. Prosecutors had wanted to have the ability to find him guilty by proving that he “willfully disclosed defense-related files.”
During a hearing in February, the private pled guilty to 10 charges, which could result in a maximum of 20 years in prison. He had confessed that he had provided videos of airstrikes that showed civilians being killed, logs of military incidents in Afghanistan and Iraq, assessment files of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and a quarter million diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.
However, his pleas were not part of a government deal. As such, prosecutors are pressing charges including multiple counts of aiding the enemy and violating the Espionage Act, which outlaws giving military information to someone who is not authorized to receive it. A guilty verdict can result in life in prison without possibility of parole.
Currently, the pretrial hearing is determining what to do with various issues including witnesses who may discuss classified information and the use of a witness who was a commando in the Osama Bin Laden raid. Recently, the judge ruled that prosecutors could present evidence showing that some of the files were obtained by Bin Laden.
Facing military charges of any kind requires experienced and dedicated legal representation that is not intimidated by the prosecution. Newport Beach courts martial defense lawyer Joseph H. Low IV has devoted his career to defending the rights and futures of those facing such charges. To learn more about your legal options, call The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV at (888) 454-5569.