Court poses hurdle to WikiLeaks case file access

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. military's highest court is asking WikiLeaks to explain why the military justice system is the proper venue for seeking documents in the court-martial of an Army private charged with giving classified information to the secret-spilling website.

The jurisdictional question was raised by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces during arguments Wednesday in Washington.

Lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights and the government say they'll submit briefs before the end of the month. The civil-rights group is representing WikiLeaks, its founder, Julian Assange, and some sympathizers in the appeal.

They claim the First Amendment mandates timely public access to judicial documents in Pfc. Bradley Manning's court-martial. Such records are generally available in civilian courts.

The government says they should use the Freedom of Information Act.

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