Bradley Manning read out a personal statement to the court in Fort Meade, Maryland, at a pre-trial hearing over his prosecution for leaking the largest trove of state secrets in Us history. It provides the first account in his own words and under his own name of how he came to download hundreds of thousands of classified documents and videos from secure military databases and transmit them to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
The Us government has refused to publish contemporaneous transcripts and documents from the Manning court martial, prompting legal complaints from open government groups. In the absence of a full official copy of Manning's statement, journalists covering the case have had to rely on their own note-taking from the courtroom.
Here the Guardian publishes a transcript compiled by independent journalist Alexa O'Brien,