Lawyer: Manning’s hearing set in WikiLeaks case

WASHINGTON — The lawyer for a U.S. soldier suspected of passing thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks says a military hearing has been scheduled to determine whether he will stand trial.

Attorney David Coombs posted the information about Pfc. Bradley Manning on his blog Monday.

Coombs says the Article 32 hearing will begin Dec. 16 at Fort Meade, near Baltimore. He says he expects it to last about five days.

An Article 32 hearing is similar to a preliminary hearing in civilian court. A military officer will evaluate the merits of the government’s case against the 23-year-old intelligence analyst.

Manning is in pretrial confinement at Fort Leavenworth prison in Kansas.

He faces about two dozen charges, including aiding the enemy. That charge can bring the death penalty or life in prison.