The attorney of US soldier Private Bradley Manning has described his client as "Young, naive, but good intentioned" during a brief opening statement.
David Coombs said that Manning arrived in Iraq when he was "22-years young".
He was deployed to Iraq with custom dog tags that said "humanist" on the back, with the hope that he could make the country a safer.
The attorney spoke of a formative event on Christmas Eve in 2009, when an explosively-formed projectile (EFP) missed a US convoy but struck a car with an Iraqi family.
He was 22-years old. He was young. A little naive, but good intentioned in that he was selecting information that he thought would make a difference.
He is not the typical soldier.
He was a humanist.
Coombs said Manning could not forget the Iraqi civilians hurt and killed in the attack, and how he "started to struggle".
He said Manning began to select specific information that he believed the public should see, that could not be used against the US, and "would make the world a better place".
More top news
Celebrations are taking place across Northern Ireland to mark St Patrick’s Day.
Police are investigating after an axe attack in Wolverhampton. A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Alton Towers has been forced to close all of its roller coasters on the opening day of its new £16m ride Wicker Man.