Posted: Nov 27, 2012 1:51 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2012 1:52 PM
FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) Proceedings have begun in the pretrial hearing of an Army private charged with spilling U.S. secrets to the website WikiLeaks, but Pfc. Bradley Manning is not expected to testify right away.
Military commanders involved in the confinement of Manning are expected to be questioned first at the hearing, which began Tuesday afternoon at Fort Meade. Manning supporters packed the courtroom.
Manning's lawyers contend that the now-24-year-old was illegally punished by being locked up alone in a small cell for nearly nine months and having to sleep naked for several nights.
The military contends his treatment at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., was proper, given his classification then as a maximum-security detainee who posed a risk of injury to himself or others.
Manning faces possible life imprisonment if convicted.