Army Pfc. Bradley Manning steps out of a security vehicle as he is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, for a pretrial hearing.
The Marine Corps' top correctional administrator says brig officials at Quantico, Va., used improper procedures to recommend that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, charged with giving U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks, be held in maximum custody.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Abel Galaviz testified Wednesday at a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade. The hearing is to determine whether the nine months that Pfc. Bradley Manning spent in the brig amounted to illegal punishment, possibly warranting dismissal of the case.
Galaviz said the board used an unapproved form to convey its recommendations to the brig commander. He says the board's senior officer improperly filled out the form before the board met. And he says the officer shouldn't have been a board member at all, since his views could influence the others.
Galeviz added the brig commander James Averhart should have immediately followed guidelines from psychiatrists who recommended canceling the suicide watch. Averhart is expected to testify at the hearing Thursday.
Galaviz is one of a dozen witnesses being called by prosecutors to counter defense claims that there was no justification for keeping Manning in his cell 23 hours a day, sometimes with no clothes. The government claims the restrictions were to keep the 24-year-old intelligence analyst from hurting or killing himself.
The court also heard from former Marine Corps supervisor Sgt. Brian Papakie. He says he was not mocking Pfc. Manning's homosexuality when he called Manning's underwear "panties" in an internal memo. That memo was written after a March 20 incident when Manning was forced to strip naked before a facility head count.
Under cross-examination, Papakie said he knew Manning was gay, but didn't believe that the use of the word panties was homophobic.
Manning is accused of giving WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan war records and diplomatic cables.