Tribunal recommends Bradley Manning be court martialed


US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (R) arrives alongside a military official at a US military Magistrate Court facility for an Article 32 hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland on December 18, 2011.


Saul Loeb

WASHINGTON — Private Bradley Manning, the former US Army analyst accused of giving Wikileaks founder Julian Assange hundreds of classified documents, has been recommended to stand trial before a court martial, according to the BBC. The recommendation will now make its way up the chain of command to be decided by military district of Washington commander Major General Michael Linnington, the Associated Press reported. There is no timeline for when this decision will be made.

Manning, 24, has been held in Quantico, Virginia since July 2010, and periods of his detainment have been called solitary confinement by some human rights groups that have criticized the government’s treatment of a man lawyers say is mentally ill.

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In a preview of what his defense may look like, lawyers in December said that others also had access to his computers, and that Manning, who is gay, was struggling under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that banned gay servicemembers from serving openly, according to the AP.

The article also reported that the lawyers argued that the release of the documents did little or no damage to US national security, although in closed tribunal testimony it is possible the prosecution could present classified evidence to the contrary.

Manning was placed on suicide watch in 2011 according to UPI, and it is unclear whether he still is. Julian Assange, on the other hand, was detained in a mansion outside London at the same time Manning was in solitary confinement, the New York Times reported last year.