Fort Meade: Lawyers for WikiLeaks
suspect Bradley Manning called for the charges against the US
Army private to be reduced as a hearing to decide if he should
face a court-martial ended on Friday.
The defence appeal came during closing arguments at the
end of a seven-day pre-trial hearing for the low-ranking
soldier blamed for one of the most serious intelligence
breaches in US history.
"The government overcharged in this case," said Manning`s
civilian defence attorney David Coombs.
Manning, 24, faces life in prison if convicted of aiding
the enemy, the most serious of the 22 charges he is facing
over the leak of hundreds of thousands of military documents
and diplomatic cables to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
Coombs said all of the charges should be dropped except
for three that carry the possibility of 30 years in prison.
US Army prosecutors urged the presiding officer,
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza, to recommend a court-martial
on all the charges.
Almanza is not expected to make a decision for several