FORT MEADE, Md. An Army private charged in the biggest security breach in U.S. history is trying to avoid trial by claiming he was already punished enough when he was locked up alone in a small cell and forced to sleep naked for several nights.
Pfc. Bradley Manning was expected to testify about his treatment during a pretrial hearing set to begin Tuesday and run through Sunday in a military court at Fort Meade.
His lawyers contend Manning was illegally punished by being locked up alone in a small cell for nearly nine months at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., and having to sleep naked for several nights.
Military judges can dismiss all charges if pretrial punishment is particularly egregious, but that rarely happens. The usual remedy is credit at sentencing for time served, said Lisa Windsor, a retired Army colonel and former Army judge advocate now in private practice in Washington.
Manning has also offered to take responsibility for the leak by pleading guilty to reduced charges. The military judge hasn’t yet ruled on the offer, and prosecutors have not said whether they would still pursue the charges against him.