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Defense may call witnesses at WikiLeaks hearing

HAGERSTOWN — Supporters of an Army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking classified material to WikiLeaks say the defense hopes to call as many as 50 witnesses at his military hearing next month.

Jeff Paterson of the Bradley Manning Support Network told reporters Tuesday the witnesses would include people who can talk about the public benefits of whistleblowers. Manning is suspected of giving the anti-secrecy website hundreds of thousands of classified documents he allegedly obtained while serving in Iraq.

Paterson says his information was based on contacts with defense attorney David Coombs. But Coombs says Paterson isn’t the official source of strategy information.

The Army says the so-called Article 32 hearing is set for Dec. 16-23 at Fort Meade, near Baltimore, to determine whether Pfc. Manning will stand trial.

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