A former Army intelligence analyst could have 112 days shaved off a future prison sentence because of his treatment while detained, a military judge ruled Tuesday. Pfc. Bradley Manning’s ‘suicide watch’ treatment, where he had been confined 23 hours a day in a windowless cell and sometimes kept naked, was uncalled-for in the nine months he was confined in Quantico, according to a ruling by Army Colonel Denise Lind.
He was held under near-inhumane conditions that included being held in a small cell for at least 23 hours a day, being forbidden to lean against the wall when awake, or lie in his bed when not sleeping, says Fast Company.
Manning was the officer who had provided military documents to an anti-secrecy website called Wikileaks.
Lind spent hours during the hearing going over reports of Manning’s suicidal gestures, erratic behavior and mental issues.
“There was no intent to punish the accused…The intent was to make sure the accused was safe, did not hurt himself and was available for the trial.”
According to the New York Daily News, the trial is set to start March 6, in which he faces 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, a serious charge which calls for a lifetime sentence. Manning, 25, showed little emotion as Lind reduced 112 days from his future prison sentence based on the severity of the time he’d already faced.
Prosecutors argue that Manning’s motive is irrelevant due to his knowledge of willingly leaking information which could be seen by al-Qaida. Manning allegedly told a confidant-turned-informant that he released the documents because “I want people to see the truth” and “information should be free.”
Manning is also charged with posting the 2007 video of a US helicopter crew gunning down several men in Iraq, including a Reuters news team.