US judge says WikiLeaks suspect's motive no defence
FORT MEADE, Maryland (AFP) - A US military judge on Wednesday ruled that Bradley Manning's motive for allegedly leaking a cache of secret government files to WikiLeaks is no defence against the charges he faces.
Manning, an army private who was arrested in May 2010 while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, faces trial in June for passing diplomatic cables and war logs to the anti-secrecy website run by Julian Assange.
Manning's lawyers had argued evidence regarding the soldier's motivation for illicitly passing the confidential documents to WikiLeaks should be heard at trial, but judge Denise Lind largely threw out the request.
In what amounts to a boost for the government, Lind said Manning's motive was not a valid defence. Much of the ruling, given at the latest pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade military base in Maryland, was inaudible because of technical difficulties with the live television link to the courtroom.