FORT MEADE, Md. — The defense attorney for suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning opened a pre-trial hearing on Friday morning with a bang — by calling for the investigating officer presiding over the hearing to recuse himself, immediately forcing the proceeding into recess while the government prepares a response and the officer reviews the details of the motion.
Defense attorney David E. Coombs called on Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, a reserve military judge who also works as a prosecutor for the Justice Department, to recuse himself on several grounds including bias and conflict of interest.
Almanza was appointed the investigating officer in August 2010, but has worked as a career prosecutor with the DoJ since 2002 until until Dec. 12 this year, when he went on reservist military leave to devote himself to the Manning case.
Bradley Manning hearing – updates - The Guardian (blog)
Activists hold signs in support of Bradley Manning, who is currently held at a secured facility in Kansas. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/AP