Just one day after Judge Denise Lind awarded PFC Bradley Manning nearly four months credit toward a potential sentence, the court-martial trial start date has been pushed back three months, from March 6 to June 3, 2013. By then, Bradley will have been imprisoned awaiting trial for more than three full years. The defense will conclude its motion to dismiss charges for lack of a speedy trial next week, January 16-17. At that hearing, Judge Lind will also rule on the prosecution’s motions to preclude evidence of Bradley’s motive and of overclassification.
The delay results from classification issues: the defense needs to determine which classified information will come to light in the trial and to interview government agency representatives before presenting that information to the government. The government then needs 60 days to review that information and determine if it will need to redact, summarize, or substitute classified portions of it, or alternatively if it will need to close the court from the press and public for that information to be litigated.