WikiLeaks soldier testifies in own defense at U.S. military trial

Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:02pm EST

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning arrives to the courthouse for his motion hearing in Fort Meade in Maryland January 9, 2013. A military judge on Tuesday reduced by 112 days any sentence that accused WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning might receive as compensation for harsh treatment he received in military detention, a Department of Defense spokesman said. Manning, a 25-year-old U.S. Army private, faces 22 charges including aiding the enemy, which carries a penalty of life in prison. REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY CRIME LAW POLITICS) - RTR3C8SC

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning arrives to the courthouse for his motion hearing in Fort Meade in Maryland January 9, 2013. A military judge on Tuesday reduced by 112 days any sentence that accused WikiLeaks leaker Bradley Manning might receive as compensation for harsh treatment he received in military detention, a Department of Defense spokesman said. Manning, a 25-year-old U.S. Army private, faces 22 charges including aiding the enemy, which carries a penalty of life in prison.

Credit: Reuters/Jose Luis Magana (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY CRIME LAW POLITICS) - RTR3C8SC

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FORT MEADE, Md., Feb 28 - A U.S. Army private accused of slipping secrets to the WikiLeaks website testified in his own defense at a military hearing on Thursday on the biggest leak of government secrets in U.S. history.

Private First Class Bradley Manning testified before military judge Colonel Denise Lind in a pre-trial hearing before his court martial, set to begin June 3.

"I believe that if the general public ... had access to the information... this could spark a domestic debate as to the role of the military and foreign policy in general," Manning testified.

(Reporting by Medina Roshan; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Vicki Allen)

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