Manning’s mental health is focus of hearing in WikiLeaks case

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FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — The mental health of a U.S. Army private is the focus of a pretrial hearing on charges that he gave classified information to the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks.

The hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning resumes Wednesday at Fort Meade. He’s seeking dismissal of the case, alleging he was illegally punished before trial by being held in needlessly harsh conditions.

The defense is seeking testimony from an officer whose command included the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va. Pfc. Manning was held there for nine months in highly restrictive, maximum custody and “prevention of injury” status.

The former installation commander, retired Col. Daniel Choike, testified Tuesday that brig commanders refused to ease Pfc. Manning’s confinement conditions as recommended by psychiatrists.

Pfc. Manning faces a possible life sentence if convicted of aiding the enemy.

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