A military judge refused Tuesday to toss out the case against WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning, but ruled that any sentence the Army private receives should be reduced by 112 days because of his mistreatment in confinement.
Manning's confinement at a military jail in Quantico, Va., was "more rigorous than necessary," said Army Col. Denise Lind, the military judge presiding over the hearing at Fort Meade, Md. They "became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests."
Nonetheless, she said, "dismissal of charges is not appropriate" and would be fitting only in the case of "outrageous" conduct.
Prospects for Lind dismissing the case were considered slim. Manning, an Army intelligence analyst who served in Iraq, faces a court-martial in March on charges of leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive government documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
He faces 22 charges, including espionage and aiding the enemy, and could receive a life sentence.
The government conceded at a hearing last month that Manning had been improperly held on suicide watch for seven days and should receive seven days off any sentence. In that sense, the ruling is a small victory for Manning and his defense team.