Private Bradley Manning, accused of leaking sensitive and embarrassing documents related to United States government activities, will face a full military court martial, it was announced late Friday.
U.S. military officials have formally referred all charges against Manning, 24, to a full court martial, announced by Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington, the General Court-Martial Convening Authority.
Manning will face trial in the U.S. at a date which will be set by a judge yet to be appointed.
The Bradley Manning Support Network issued a statement after the military announcement, calling on the Obama administration to display honesty over the controversy surrounding the Manning case.
“This administration owes all Americans an honest explanation for their extraordinary retaliation against Bradley Manning,” said Jeff Paterson, a lead organizer of the Bradley Manning Support Network, in the statement. “President Obama and Secretary Clinton need to produce sworn depositions under conditions where they are required to tell the truth about Bradley Manning.”
Among the material Manning allegedly leaked is a video, Collateral Murder, showing innocent civilians and journalists in Iraq being gunned down from a U.S Apache gunship. The video sparked an international outrage, setting the stage for Friday's announcement by the U.S. government.
In January, Col. Carl Coffman Jr denied an evidence request by Manning’s legal team to conduct oral depositions of nine key witnesses, among them President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Manning’s lawyer, David E. Coombs, responded to the denial at the time, stating, “This determination is difficult to comprehend given the nature of the charges against PFC Manning. Today’s decision is yet another example of the government improperly impeding the defense’s access to essential witnesses.”