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Brig commander: Manning under tight restrictions for "own good"

By DAVID DISHNEAU
Associated Press

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) - The former commander of a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., says he ordered tight restrictions on an Army private charged with leaking classified information to WikiLeaks for the soldier's own good.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Averhart testified Thursday at a military pretrial hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning. Manning claims he was held under conditions so harsh that his case should be dismissed.

Averhart acknowledged that military regulations required him to remove Manning from highly restrictive suicide watch upon a psychiatrist's recommendation. He says he didn't do so immediately, on two occasions, because of Manning's history of anxiety, depression and suicidal gestures.

The Marine Corps' chief of corrections testified Wednesday that Averhart wrongly kept Manning on suicide watch for at least seven days of his nine months' confinement.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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