The former head of a Marine Corps brig testified Monday that she was shocked when the base commander asked for advance notice of any orders she planned to give regarding the confinement of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier charged with sending classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
The request was surprising because brig commanders have sole authority to determine the custody status of detainees, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Denise Barnes said. She testified on the 10th day of a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade, near Baltimore, to determine whether the nine months Manning spent in tight confinement at Quantico, Va., amounted to illegal pretrial punishment, possibly warranting dismissal of his case.
Barnes was the 11th of 14 government witnesses. Lawyers plan to make their closing arguments when the hearing resumes Tuesday.