Bradley Manning pretrial enters second day


Supporters of US Army Private Bradley Manning, hold vigil outside the gates of Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, where Manning's Article 32 preliminary hearing began on December 18, 2011.


Chip Somodevilla

Though Bradley Manning's lawyers had tried to oust the judge in his case, Lt. Col. Paul Almanza because of alleged bias, an Army appeals court rejected the request late on Friday, the Associated Press reported.

Manning, a former intelligence agent in Baghdad, is being accused of leaking thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, State Department cables, and classified videos that the White House says has threatened sources and American relationships abroad.

Manning was back in military court on Saturday, which was his 24th birthday for day two of his pretrial hearing listening to lawyers and witnesses discuss if his sexual orientation played any role in the case against him.

Currently, the military is conducting a pretrial hearing to determine whether prosecutors have enough evidence to bring Manning to trial, ABC News reported.

Manning's defense team asked the first two witnesses, Army criminal investigators, whether they found evidence of homosexuality or references to gender-identity disorder among Manning's belongings.

According to AP, the defense wants to show that Manning's struggles as a gay soldier during a Don't Ask Don't Tell era have contributed to mental and emotional problems. These problems, they argue, should have barred him from having access to sensitive material.

More from GlobalPost: Bradley Manning enters military court