A U.S. Army private accused of leaking classified documents, many of which wound up on the WikiLeaks website, was back in court on Tuesday.
At a pre-trial hearing at Ft. Meade, Maryland, lawyers for Bradley Manning and the military judge hearing his court-martial addressed procedural issues surrounding the possibility he would plead guilty to minor charges.
One issue in play is whether a guilty plea would cause Manning to waive his right to a speedy trial on other counts.
The bigger issue for the week involves a bid by Manning and his attorneys to have serious charges dismissed on grounds that he was mistreated while in military custody.
The Army intelligence analyst is suspected of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military and State Department documents while serving in Iraq.
Many of them ended up on the WikiLeaks website. WikiLeaks has never confirmed that Manning was the source of the information.
Charges against Manning, 24, include aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, transmitting national defense information and theft of public property or records.
He could receive a sentence of up to life, if convicted.
Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, filed a motion last August to dismiss the counts based on a claim, Manning says, of illegally harsh treatment while held at the brig at the Marine base at Quantico, Virginia.
He was held there from July 2010 until he was moved to the military prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, in April 2011, according to Jeff Paterson, a spokesman for the Bradley Manning Support Network.
Manning is expected to take the stand later this week to testify about his detention.
Before the start of Tuesday's proceedings, about a dozen people protested outside Ft. Meade. When the hearing began, about 30 Manning supporters, many wearing shirts that read "Truth," were inside the courtroom or a nearby trailer where they followed the proceedings on closed circuit television.