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Judge Reduces Possible Sentence For Pfc. Manning In WikiLeaks Case

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Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md.

A military judge has reduced the potential sentence for an Army private accused of sending reams of classified documents to the WikiLeaks website.

Col. Denise Lind ruled Tuesday during a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade for Pfc. Bradley Manning. Lind took a full hour and 50 minutes to read a multipage decision detailing the history of private Manning's confinement.

Lind found that Manning was at times during his confinement kept on prevention of injury status longer than necessary, despite recommendations to the contrary from doctors.

Defense attorneys had asked that all charges be dismissed but the judge refused saying there was no intention by the government to punish the accused before trial. Instead, Lind awarded Manning a total of 112 days off any prison sentence if he is convicted of any of the 21 charges against him. 

Earlier, prosecutors asked the judge to toss out evidence regarding Manning's motive for leaking thousands of documents to the website WikiLeaks. Defense attornies say Manning only leaked information that he believed wouldn't hurt the U.S. The government maintains that motivation is irrelevant, as Manning knew the leaked intelligence might be seen by terrorists. 

The hearing on that and other requests continues Wednesday. He is charged with aiding the enemy and 21 other offenses. His trial begins March 6.

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