© Patrick Semansky / APFILE - In this file photo taken Dec. 22, 2011, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted from a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md. Manning was scheduled to appear in a military courtroom at Fort Meade, near Baltimore, on Thursday March 15, 2012 and Friday. During his most recent hearing in late February, no trial date was set, though the timing was discussed. A military judge is expected to set a firmer schedule this week.
Fort Mead, Maryland - An attorney for an Army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of pages of classified information asked a military judge Thursday to dismiss the charges, arguing the government bungled the handover of documents to the defense.

The request came during a hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning at a military courtroom at Fort Meade, Md., near Baltimore. Military prosecutors say Manning, a 24-year-old Oklahoma native, downloaded and sent to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks a vast store of sensitive documents and diplomatic cables. The military says Manning indirectly aided al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula by giving information to the WikiLeaks site.

Defense lawyers say Manning was clearly a troubled young soldier who never should have been deployed to Iraq or given access to classified material. They say the leaked material did little or no harm to national security.

On Thursday, military prosecutors and Manning's attorney David Coombs disagreed about the extent of the government's obligation to turn over documents in the case before a trial, which has not yet been scheduled. Coombs argued the government must turn over a broad range of documents, including ones that are classified, but he has not received information he requested. He asked that charges against his client be dismissed because the government has "hopelessly" messed up the document turnover in the nearly two years his client has been incarcerated.