WikiLeaks suspect's gender struggle comes under spotlight
FORT MEADE, Maryland (AFP) - US authorities were aware WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning faced a gender identity crisis but that did not trigger a decision to hold him under strict "suicide watch" measures at a military brig, a witness testified Sunday.
Manning, a former army intelligence analyst in Iraq, is accused of the biggest intelligence leak in American history for allegedly passing a massive trove of classified documents to the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website.
His purported struggle with gender identity came up at a pre-trial hearing as the defense sought to persuade a military judge to dismiss the case because of alleged "unlawful punishment" Manning endured during nine months of solitary confinement at a brig in Quantico, Virginia.
Staff Sergeant Ryan Jordan, who spoke to Manning as a counselor at the Marine Corps facility, was questioned on Sunday by a defence lawyer about a review report he submitted to commanders that noted Manning has "potential gender identity disorder." "When he was first brought into confinement, I believe he gave an alias of Breanna Elizabeth Manning," Jordan told the court.