In a Ft. Meade Maryland military court pre-trial proceeding, accused saboteur Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, declined to enter a plea for the record, accepting and exercising his court rights Thursday.
As reported by ABC, "PFC Manning would like to defer both on his plea and on motions," said David Coombs, Manning’s civilian attorney. “This legal defense is designed to allow Manning and his lawyers to determine how the prosecution will utilize the evidence and witnesses at the trial.”
In 2010, the then 22-year-old was arrested and accused of transferring an estimated 700,000 classified state documents to Wikileaks- the now infamous online activist content outlet, lead by Julian Assange and his team.
The state will push 22 charges against Manning, including: aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, knowing of the accessibility of the information to enemies, stealing property and transmission of defense information.
If convicted, Manning could be sentenced to a maximum of life in prison. The prosecution has said that they will not be seeking the death penalty for Manning.
Col. Denise R. Lind, the military judge assigned to the case, will hear from both sides arguments about motions, deposition of witnesses, and clarification of charges by the prosecution.
Coombs pushed to receive a set trial date, arguing that his client had already spent 635 days incarcerated. The prosecution, however, added that a more viable schedule for trial would be in August instead.
Coombs added, “If [the] government gets its way... Manning would have spent over 800 days before trial begins" in pre-trial confinement.
Next schedule of proceeding will take place on March 15.