The U.S. Army has declared WikiLeaks suspect Pfc. Bradley Manning fit to stand trial.
According to Army spokesman Gary Tallman, a panel of experts recently concluded its medical and mental evaluation of Manning.
Although a date has yet to be set for the initial court hearing, Tallman emphasized that the evaluation board’s findings had absolutely “no bearing on the guilt, innocence, or any potential defenses of the accused.”
As TG Daily previously reported, Pfc. Manning – who stands accused of transferring thousands of classified documents to the whistle-blowing WikiLeaks website – was recently moved from a Marine base in Quantico (Virginia) to Leavenworth in Kansas.
He faces no less than two dozen charges, including aiding the enemy, which could result in a life sentence or even the death penalty.
At Quantico, Manning was held in solitary confinement, subjected to strip searches and forced to sleep in a suicide-proof smock.
The Obama administration has routinely defended Manning’s prison conditions, insisting the Pfc. is being treated fairly in line with current military regulations.
“I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards. They assure me that they are,” President Obama said in March.
“I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well.”
It should be noted that Manning is no longer being held in solitary confinement at Leavenworth. In addition, the WikiLeaks suspect can meet visitors (daily) and has been granted phone access.
[Via Kansas City Star & AP]