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Former Bales defense lawyer joins Manning’s team

HAGERSTOWN — A military lawyer who formerly represented a soldier charged with fatally shooting 17 Afghan villagers is now defending an Army private accused of sending hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks.

Pfc. Bradley Manning’s civilian lawyer, David Coombs, said on his blog late Wednesday that Army Maj. Thomas Hurley has joined Manning’s three-man defense team.

Coombs wrote that Manning personally asked to have Hurley as one of the two military lawyers detailed to defend him.

Hurley was assigned earlier this year to help defend Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. He stepped aside last month in what Bales’ civilian attorney said was a mutual decision after they disagreed about defense strategy.

Manning’s team also includes Capt. Joshua Tooman.