Army Pfc. Bradley Manning

Patrick Semansky, Associated Press

WikiLeaks hearing focuses on brig commander

  • Article by: DAVID DISHNEAU
  • Associated Press
  • December 6, 2012 - 2:16 AM

FORT MEADE, Md. - A hearing on the pretrial confinement of an Army private charged with giving classified information to WikiLeaks is focusing on a Marine Corps brig commander.

The hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning enters its eighth day Thursday. Manning claims he was illegally held in maximum custody at the brig in Quantico, Va., under conditions so harsh that his case should be dismissed.

The government claims brig officials justifiably believed the strict conditions were needed to keep Manning from hurting or killing himself.

But the Marine Corps' chief of corrections testified Wednesday that brig commander Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Averhart wrongly kept Manning on suicide watch for at least seven days of his nine months' confinement.

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