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Manning case: Request for recusal denied

An Army appeals court has rejected the defence’s effort to remove the presiding officer in the military hearing for the soldier accused of the largest leak of classified material in American history.

world Updated: Dec 17, 2011 23:27 IST

An Army appeals court has rejected the defence’s effort to remove the presiding officer in the military hearing for the soldier accused of the largest leak of classified material in American history.

The Army Court of Criminal Appeals said late Friday that the case against the soldier, Pfc Bradley Manning, would go forward with Lt Col Paul Almanza as the presiding officer.

The defense had accused Colonel Almanza, an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and Justice Department prosecutor, of bias and requested that he step aside. Colonel Almanza rejected the request and refused to suspend the case pending an appeal.

Private Manning, a former intelligence analyst who had served in Baghdad, is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive items.

The Obama administration says the released information has threatened valuable military and diplomatic sources.