Judge Awards Wikileaks Soldier Bradley Manning Sentencing Credit, Deems Pretrial Conditions ‘Excessive’

The judge in the trial of Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning, who faces 22 counts including aiding the enemy for his role in the release of classified information, awarded him nearly four months of credit off any sentence he might receive because of the way he has been treated in confinement, the AP reports:

ManningCol. Denise Lind made the ruling during a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade for Pfc. Bradley Manning. Lind found that Manning suffered illegal pretrial punishment during nine months in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va. She awarded a total of 112 days off any prison sentence Manning gets if he is convicted.

Manning was confined to a windowless cell 23 hours a day, sometimes with no clothing. Brig officials say it was to keep him from hurting himself or others.

The judge said that Manning's confinement was "more rigorous than necessary." She added that the conditions "became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests."

Manning's trial begins on March 6.