WikiLeaks Hearing Focuses On Brig Commander

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — A hearing on the pretrial confinement of an Army private charged with giving classified information to WikiLeaks will hear from the commander of a Marine Corps brig where the soldier alleges he was mistreated.

The hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning enters its eighth day Thursday. Manning claims he was illegally held in maximum custody at the brig in Quantico, Va., under conditions so harsh that his case should be dismissed.

The government claims brig officials justifiably believed the strict conditions were needed to keep Manning from hurting or killing himself.

The brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Averhart, was set to testify Thursday. The Marine Corps’ chief of corrections testified Wednesday that Averhart wrongly kept Manning on suicide watch for at least seven days of his nine months’ confinement.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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