US army whistleblower to be released again
WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
A federal judge on March 12 ordered the release of former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning from custody amid reports that the notorious WikiLeaks whistleblower had attempted suicide while in detention.
U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga ordered the release of Manning from prison, where she had been held since May for refusing to testify to a grand jury, after the pre-trial body that had subpoenaed her had been disbanded.
“The court finds that Ms. Manning's appearance before the Grand Jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose,” Trenga wrote in a three-page note.
Manning still owes some $256,000 in fines that were imposed over her refusal to testify before the grand jury, which is probing WikiLeaks — the whistleblowing website founded by Australian entrepreneur Julian Assange.
On Wednesday, Manning's lawyers said she had attempted suicide while in jail. Officials at the detention center in Alexandria, Virginia, said there had been an incident and confirmed Manning was safe.
Before her recent incarceration for refusing to testify, Manning had served seven years in a military jail for leaking hundreds of thousands of U.S. military documents to WikiLeaks. She was released on the order of President Barack Obama in 2017.
Assange is being held in a London prison as U.K. courts consider a U.S. request to extradite him to America, where he has been charged with plotting with Manning to hack classified materials stored in a Pentagon computer network.