Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WikiLeaks Grand Jury Witness David House Refuses to Testify, Invokes Fifth Amendment

WASHINGTON — A friend of Bradley Manning, the American soldier accused of leaking classified files to WikiLeaks, said he declined to answer questions at a grand jury hearing.

Prosecutors, who have not given up bringing charges against the whistle-blower website's founder Julian Assange, had subpoenaed David House to testify before the grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia.

But House said that during the closed-door hearing he invoked the constitution's Fifth Amendment, which protects him from self-incrimination, offering only his name and address and refusing to answer the prosecutors other questions.

"The show trial that is now under way in Alexandria, Virginia has the potential to set a dangerous precedent for regulating the media," House said in a statement issued by Manning's support network.

"Using Nixonian fear tactics that were honed during the Pentagon Papers investigation, the DoJ (Department of Justice) is attempting to dismantle a major media organization -- WikiLeaks -- and indict its editor, Julian Assange," he said.

"The DoJ's ever-widening net has now come to encompass academics, students, and journalists in the Cambridge (Boston) area," he said.

President Barack Obama's administration is seeking to force these individuals to testify "against this media organization in an attempt to cast its publications and those of its media partners -- the New York Times, the Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, and El Pais -- as acts of espionage." more here...

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