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Thursday, April 24, 2014         

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Hearing for GI in WikiLeaks case enters 10th day

By DAVID DISHNEAU

Associated Press

POSTED:



FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — Military prosecutors are trying to show that an Army private charged with sending classified information to WikiLeaks didn't avail himself of opportunities to complain about pretrial confinement conditions that he claims were excessively harsh.

The hearing enters its 10th day Monday with more testimony expected from Chief Warrant Officer 2 Denise Barnes. She was the commander of a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., during the last three months of Pfc. Bradley Manning's confinement there.

Prosecutors also plan to call Army officers who were in Manning's chain of command while he was locked up 23 hours a day, sometimes with no clothing, for nine months.

The government claims the restrictions were to keep Manning from hurting or killing himself. The hearing is to determine if they amounted to illegal pretrial punishment. Manning contends the conditions were so harsh that all charges should be dropped.

Manning was held at Quantico from July 2010 to April 2011, when he was moved to medium-security pretrial confinement at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. During his entire time at Quantico, he was in maximum custody and also on either suicide watch or injury-prevention status, which carry extra restrictions.

The government must prove that brig officials justifiably believed the strict conditions were needed to keep Manning from hurting himself.

The 24-year-old native of Crescent, Okla., was an intelligence analyst in Iraq. He is charged with 22 offenses, including aiding the enemy, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. He is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and more than 250,000 diplomatic cables while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2009 and 2010.

He is also charged with leaking a 2007 video clip of a U.S. helicopter crew gunning down 11 men later found to have included a Reuters news photographer and his driver. The Pentagon concluded the troops acted appropriately, having mistaken the camera equipment for weapons.







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