Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, the presiding officer over Bradley Manning’s Article 32 preliminary hearing, has ended the hearing with a formal recommendation that Manning face a general court martial over the allegations.
The recommendation follows a brief preliminary hearing, and means only that Almanza, a retired military judge and US Justice Department employee, believes the charges are properly filed and that there is some basic evidence to warrant continuing on with the process.
The hearing began in mid-December, with defense allegations that Almanza’s current employment with the Justice Department made him inherently biased on the case, since the Justice Department is preparing its own cases related.
The hearings included considerable “secret” sessions, the information from which was never made public, and ended with the defense pointing out that there was no real evidence of any harm done by the allegations. If found guilty Manning faces decades in a military prison.
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