Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of being behind the WikiLeaks document releases, is expected to testify on his own behalf this week, the first time he will speak publicly since his initial capture in 2010.
Manning’s comments will be part of pre-trial testimony leading up to a planned February court-martial, with much of the testimony centering around Manning’s harsh mistreatment in detention at Quantico.
During Manning’s multi-year detention he was subject to repeated abuse, imposing harsh restrictions on him and at one point seizing all of his clothing and ordering him to stand naked outside his cell. They later decided he could be allowed underpants, but only during certain times of the day. The criticism of his mistreatment at Quantico eventually forced his relocation, and the military brig was even shut down in 2011, though officials insisted the move wasn’t because of the abuse of detainees.
The abuse could play a major role in sentencing, however, as his attorneys intend to argue that several years in a maximum security prison and pre-trial abuse rising to the level that even the UN was trying to investigate the matter needs to factor into any sentence, and indeed ought to be sufficient punishment for the crimes he is charged with.
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