Army Private Bradley Manning contemplated suicide during his confinement in military custody while awaiting hearings in the largest leak of classified material in American history.
Manning spoke at a hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland, describing his experiences publicly for the first time since he was arrested more than two years ago, reports CNN.
The hearing was held to consider a motion by the defense to have his case dismissed on grounds that his confinement thus far has been harsh and amounted to enough punishment for his crimes.
Mannings lawyers hope that, at the very least, the judge will take his experiences into account and sharply reduce his potential sentence if he is convicted at his court-martial next year. The defense stated that it plans to let Manning plead guilty to lesser offences, but fight other charges as being too extreme.
Bradley Manning, an army intelligence specialist, has been accused of stealing thousands of classified documents and providing them to WikiLeaks, which then published them online.
Yahoo! News notes that Manning testified to making a noose while being held in Kuwait before he was moved to a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia. He stated that he arrived in Virginia as a suicide risk and was upgraded eight days later to a less-restrictive “prevention of injury” status.
Manning stated, however, that neither designation was appropriate in Quantico, because he stopped feeling suicidal after he left Kuwait. He did, however, mention under questioning by prosecutor Major Ashden Fein that he noted on his intake form that he had considered suicide.
Bradley Manning spent five hours on the witness stand on Thursday, speaking with prosecutors and the defense about his ordeal in lockup.