Wikileaks Trial: Bradley Manning to Speak Publicly For the First Time Before Court Martial

Bradley Manning, the soldier arrested in May 2010 on suspicion of having passed classified material to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, is expected to speak publicly for the first time this week — according to The Guardian

The stakes are high at the hearing, expected to go on until Sunday, since the event will precede a February 4 full court-martial. David Cooms, Bradley Manning's lawyer, said he’d seek to "radically reduce" or "entirely negate" any eventual sentence imposed on Manning on the grounds the he was subjected to "pre-trial punishment."   

Manning's alleged torture, during the nine months he was held at the Marine Corps Quantico Base in Virginia (from 29 July 2010 to 20 April 2011) has caused an international outcry from organizations such as the UN rapporteur on torture, Amnesty International and PJ Crowley, a then spokesman at the State Department who resigned in protest.

Jeff Paterson, of the Bradley Manning Support Network, said Bradley's upcoming public hearing would be "a very telling moment." "Until now we've only heard from Bradley through his family and lawyers, so it's going to be a real insight into his personality to hear him speak for himself for the first time," he said according to The Guardian. 

Manning, the alleged source of the massive WikiLeaks dump of hundreds of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables and war logs, will be called as a witness at the latest pre-trial hearing opening in Fort Meade army base in Maryland on Tuesday afternoon.