Reporting from Ft. Meade, Md. — On the first day of court martial proceedings against an intelligence analyst accused of the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history, lawyers for U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning said the government was unnecessarily drawing out the prosecution in violation of Manning's right to a speedy trial.
Manning has been held in pre-trial confinement for 635 days.
The arraignment in a military court at Ft. Meade, Md., lasted 50 minutes and focused on legal housekeeping matters, such as setting a date for trial and requests by the defense for more documents from the prosecution.
Manning's civilian lawyer, David E. Coombs, said he would be ready to begin the full trial in April. Prosecutors asked for the trail to be scheduled for early August.
Manning faces 22 charges that include aiding the enemy and violating the Espionage Act. He is suspected of giving the WikiLeaks website classified field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables that included frank descriptions of foreign leaders, and video footage of a 2007 helicopter attack in Baghdad, among other documents.