The alleged source behind the largest leak of state secrets in U.S. history is expected to speak publicly for the first time since his arrest in May 2010 at a pretrial hearing Tuesday afternoon.

The hearing is part of legal proceedings ahead of a full court martial scheduled for Feb. 4.

Pfc. Bradley Manning’s lawyers are seeking to have any sentence eventually imposed on him reduced or dismissed on the grounds that the conditions of his detainment at the Marine base at Quantico, Va., constituted pretrial punishment. People and organizations around the world have condemned the military for what the U.N. special rapporteur on torture said amounted to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of article 16 of the [U.N.] convention against torture.”

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

The alleged source of the massive WikiLeaks dump of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables and war logs is expected to be called as a witness at the latest pre-trial hearing opening in Fort Meade army base in Maryland on Tuesday afternoon. His direct address to the court will be a poignant event that will be followed closely by both his supporters, who see him as a heroic whistleblower, and his detractors, who regard him as a traitor.

Jeff Paterson of the Bradley Manning support network said it would be a very telling moment. “Until now we’ve only heard from Bradley through his family and lawyers, so it’s going to be a real insight into his personality to hear him speak for himself for the first time.”

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