Bradley Manning To Speak Publicly, Argue For His Release In WikiLeaks Case

Nathan Francis

Bradley Manning, the US Army private charged with the biggest security breach in the nation's history, will argue that he has already been punished enough in solitary confinement and should not go to trial in the WikiLeaks case.

Manning has been locked up alone in a small cell and forced to sleep naked for several nights, The Associated Press reported.

Private First Class Bradley Manning was expected to take the stand and testify about his treatment at a pretrial hearing that will run from Tuesday to Sunday. Lawyers for Manning plan to argue that his confinement alone in a small cell amounted to illegal punishment.

The Associated Press noted that military judges have the power to dismiss the charges if they find the punishment was particularly egregious, but the more likely outcome is that the accused is given credit for time served.

Bradley Manning's lawyer has requested to call eight witnesses in total, the UK's Guardian reported. The first witnesses are likely to be the members in charge of the brig where Manning spent nine months. Legal documents released by Manning's lawyer earlier this year showed that one of the commanders told his staff "we will do whatever we want to do" with the captive soldier.

Bradley Manning is the 24-year-old former intelligence analyst charged with leaking a number of diplomatic cables to the organization WikiLeaks. The jailed soldier has been charged with violating the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy, a capital offense. Prosecutors said they will not seek the death penalty in the case.