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Judge to begin 5-day hearing in Wikileaks case

FORT MEADE — A defense attorney for an Army private charged in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history is renewing a request to have two of the 22 charges against his client dropped.

David Coombs, an attorney for Pfc. Bradley Manning, made his argument before a military judge Monday, the first day of a planned five-day hearing at Maryland’s Fort George G. Meade. Lawyers for Manning and the government are discussing a number of issues in advance of Manning’s trial, currently scheduled for September.

Prosecutors say the now 24-year-old gave hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables and war logs to the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks. Manning’s attorney argued Monday that two of the charges against his client, which involve State Department documents, are improper. The judge has yet to rule.

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