As a further demonstration of his low opinion of the military prosecutors, Coombs publishes on his blog all the defense motions that he will be arguing in court this week, stating that in his view "the vast majority of the parties' filings should be made public". This goes against the military prosecutors' request that no motions should be filed for security reasons – Coombs has redacted his filings himself to remove references in the documents that the army has said should not be released.
At the heart of the disagreement over procedures is Coombs' longstanding request for key documents under discovery from the prosecution which he says are crucial to Manning receiving a fair trial.
In particular, the lawyer has tried to obtain access to damage assessments by U.S. intelligence experts. These gave an expert opinion on whether or not the confidential documents that were handed to WikiLeaks, allegedly by Manning, did any harm to U.S. national interests.
It is Coombs' apparent suspicion that the assessments found that the leak was not of great significance in terms of its impact on American interests – a fact that would certainly be relevant in legal argument over an appropriate sentence for the soldier should he be found guilty.
Coombs also wants to see transcripts of grand jury proceedings held in Virginia where it is believed the Department of Justice has been considering bringing a criminal case against Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder. One theory widely held among Manning's supporters is that he has been singled out for harsh treatment in order to force him to testify against Assange who is seen by the U.S. government as their main target.
Intellpuke: You can read this article by Guardian Correspondent Ed Pilkington, reporting from New York City, N.Y., in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/24/bradley-manning-lawyer-case-mishandled