Judge Rules Bradley Manning Suffered Illegal Punishment

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U.S. Army

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning

A military judge ruled today that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning suffered illegal pretrial punishment - and then reduced Manning's possible sentence should he be found guilty of charges in the Wikileaks case.

The Associated Press reports Col. Denise Lind made her decision during today's pretrial hearing at Fort Meade in Maryland.

Lind ruled that the punishment Manning suffered at the hands of the government warranted 112 days off any prison sentence Manning would get if he were convicted:

The judge said that Manning's confinement was "more rigorous than necessary." She added that the conditions "became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests."

According to the A.P., Manning was held in a windowless cell - sometimes in the nude - for 23 hours a day in the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia.

Manning, 25, is accused of leaking sensitive military documents to the website WikiLeaks, when he served as a military intelligence analyst in Iraq. Manning has been in jail for more than two years on these charges.

His trial is slated to begin March 6.