Colonel Lind said the prosecution must show evidence that Manning had "reason to believe such information could be used to the injury of the US," by an armed group like Al Qaeda or another nation, Agence France-Presse reported Wednesday.
Prosecutors reportedly are preparing evidence – including testimony from a US Navy SEAL who was one of those involved in the raid that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011 – to show that the information leaked by Manning was found in Mr. bin Laden’s compound in Abbotttabad, Pakistan, and thus aided a terrorist organization.
As Manning’s pretrial hearing continued Wednesday, Lind ruled against the defense, which had tried to block such testimony on grounds that it would be prejudicial to Manning’s case.
The ruling means prosecutors can call the witness during the "merits," or main, phase of the trial. They otherwise could have used his testimony only for sentencing purposes, according to the Associated Press.
The witness has been publicly identified only as "John Doe" and as a Defense Department "operator," a designation given to SEALs. Prosecutors say he participated with SEAL Team Six in their assault on the compound which resulted in the death of bin Laden. Such testimony would help establish a chain of custody for the evidence from its recovery to its analysis by a computer expert.