'Wikileaker' Manning 'had history of self-harm, suicidal thoughts', testify ex-counselors

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 03, 2012 05:30 hrs

US Army private Bradley Manning, who has been accused of leaking a massive cache of classified US documents to WikiLeaks, had a history of suicidal thoughts, two former counselors have testified.

Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Jordan and Marine Master Sergeant Craig Blenis testified on the sixth day of a pre-trial hearing, and said Manning had aloof behavior that outweighed a psychiatrist's opinion that he posed no risk to himself.

According to the Daily Mail, the hearing is to determine whether Manning's nine months in pre-trial confinement at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia, were so punishing that the judge should dismiss all charges.

Jordan said under cross-examination by defense attorney David Coombs that besides the mental-health report, he considered evidence that Manning had contemplated suicide after his arrest in Iraq in May 2010.

The evidence included a noose Manning had fashioned from a bedsheet while confined in Kuwait, and a written statement he made upon arrival at Quantico in July 2010 that he was 'always planning and never acting' on suicidal impulses, the paper said.

Blenis said Manning chose not to speak most of the time except for short, yes-or-no answers.

He said Manning spurned his offers to play chess or work brain teasers by arrogantly responding, 'They're a little below my level.'

The paper quoted him, as saying that that he supported a brig commander's decision in March 2011 to strip Manning of all clothing at night and place him on suicide watch after Manning told another staffer that if he really wanted to kill himself, he could use the elastic waistband on his underwear. (ANI)

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