Alleged Leaker Manning Subjected To Illegal Pretrial Punishment, Judge Rules

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At a pretrial hearing Tuesday at Fort Meade in Maryland, a military judge ruled that the Army private accused of leaking a mass of classified documents to the website WikiLeaks was subjected to illegal pretrial punishment while being held in a military prison.

Col. Denise Lind found that during the nine months Pfc. Bradley Manning spent in solitary confinement in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., the treatment he received was “more rigorous than necessary.” She credited a total of 112 days toward any prison sentence Manning receives if convicted. (More from The Associated Press here.)

Manning was kept in a windowless cell 23 hours a day, often without any clothing. Officials have said it was to keep him from harming himself.

“Jailers at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., have testified they considered Manning a suicide risk and that they were only trying to keep him from hurting himself and others by keeping him in a windowless, 6-by-8-foot cell for all but one hour a day.”

At a previous hearing last year, Manning’s lawyer, David E. Coombs, described the treatment he received like that of a “zoo animal.” Manning also took the stand during that hearing and described contemplating suicide and making a noose while being held in Kuwait.

Read more at NPR