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US soldier accused in Wikileaks case due in court

Army private accused of leaking documents to Wikileaks may soon learn when trial will begin By The Associated Press

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) ' A U.S. Army private accused of leaking classified material to the anti-secrecy website Wikileaks could soon learn when his trial will start.

Pfc. Bradley Manning is scheduled to appear Thursday and Friday for hearings at Fort Meade, Md., near Baltimore. During his most recent hearing in late February, no trial date was set, though the timing was discussed. A judge is expected to set a firmer schedule this week.

Military prosecutors say Manning, a 24-year-old Oklahoma native, downloaded and transferred to Wikileaks nearly half a million sensitive battlefield reports. Defense lawyers say Manning was a troubled soldier who shouldn't have had access to classified material and that the leaked material did little or no harm to national security.

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