Australian whistleblower to represent himself at trial

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian army whistleblower charged with leaking secret documents alleging misconduct in Afghanistan says he will defend himself at trial next year rather than face potential delays by hiring a lawyer with a security clearance.

David William McBride appeared briefly in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court on Thursday on charges relating to the leaking of classified documents about Australian Special Air Service involvement in Afghanistan to Australian Broadcasting Corp. reporters.

Registrar Annie Glover continued McBride's bail until he appears in court next on Monday for a trial date to be set in March or April.

McBride is a 55-year-old former military lawyer who admits leaking documents. He said outside court that while he had been offered legal aid, he had decided to represent himself.

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