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WikiLeaks case: Judge cuts possible sentence for Bradley Manning

January 08, 2013|By Andrew Khouri | This post has been updated. See below for details.
  • Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, if convicted, will have his prison sentence reduced by 112 days, a judge has ruled.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, if convicted, will have his prison sentence… (Patrick Semansky / Associated…)

Pfc. Bradley Manning suffered illegal pretrial punishment while in a Marine Corps brig, a military judge ruled Tuesday as she reduced a potential sentence for the former Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking hordes of classified documents.

Col. Denise Lind ruled that Manning, 25, if convicted, would have his prison sentence reduced by 112 days, the Associated Press reported.

The ruling came during a pretrial hearing at Ft. Meade, Md., outside Washington.

Manning's attorney David E. Coombs had asked Lind to dismiss the charges against Manning, arguing that the private's nine-month solitary confinement in a Marine brig in Quantico, Va., was illegal punishment.

Manning, facing 22 criminal charges, allegedly leaked hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and classified reports regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the website WikiLeaks.  He could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.

Through his attorney, Manning has indicated he would be willing to plead guilty to a narrower set of charges in order to face fewer years behind bars.

Manning has testified that he was forced to sleep naked for several nights while held in the Quantico brig. Military officers previously testified that Manning needed the "maximum custody" designation at Quantico because he was at risk of harming himself or others.

In December, prosecutors recommended he receive seven days’ credit if sentenced, because he was incorrectly held on suicide watch for as many days, the AP reported.

The military later moved Manning from Quantico.

On Tuesday, Lind said Manning’s treatment at Quantico was “more rigorous than necessary” and “became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests.”

For the record, 4:12 p.m. Jan. 8: An earlier version of this post stated that Bradley Manning is 24 years old. Manning turned 25 late last month.

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