Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

Chelsea Manning Sent Back to Jail for Refusing to Testify

Chelsea Manning Chelsea Manning leaves prison heads straight for booze and pizza READ MORE
Deanna Wagner | 18 May, 2019, 04:26

The Army intelligence officer-turned-leaker will return to the slammer after refusing to testify before a grand jury that is investigating WikiLeaks.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga ordered Manning be sent back to prison on Thursday.

"I would rather starve to death than change my opinions in that regard", Manning told Trenga, reiterating her opposition to the secretive grand jury process.

After almost seven years behind bars, Manning had her sentence commuted by President Obama, and was a free woman, for a while.

Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning is headed back to jail for refusing to testify before a grand jury in the WikiLeaks probe.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia G. Zachary Terwilliger said after Ms. Manning's hearing that Ms. Manning is not being asked to do any more than any other citizen who might have relevant information.

This time, Manning faces a fine of $500 a day if she continues to refuse cooperation after 30 days in jail. She already spent two months in jail on a previous subpoena but was released last week when the term of that grand jury expired.

In a statement Thursday, Manning's attorney Moira Meltzer-Cohen said she was "disappointed" in Trenga's decision to detain her client, but did not expect Manning to change course in her refusal to testify.

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Manning was taken immediately to a local jail in Alexandria, Virginia.

Federal grand juries are impaneled for a maximum of 18 months, but it is unclear how long this particular grand jury has been on duty.

"There's nothing new", Manning said Thursday during a press conference before her court hearing in Alexandria.

Manning has accused the government of seeking to revive her original court martial case, saying prosecutors were unhappy over her 2017 pardon by president Barack Obama. If she reaches 60 days, the figure will be raised to $1,000 a day.

The heavy-handed punishment betrays the growing frustration of federal prosecutors, for who this is a second attempt at making Manning testify. "It is telling that the US has always been concerned with the disclosure of those documents than their damning substance". She was sentenced to 35 years in prison in August 2013, although 112 days were thoughtfully removed after the judge ruled that she had been tortured while being held in military prison. She said the isolation caused her "extraordinary pain" and that she was sometimes in a "dissociative stupor".

He said he hopes that while incarcerated, "Ms. Manning would reflect on the principles she says she's embracing. and whether those views are worth the price she's paying for them".

The new grand jury subpoena appears to be related to the USA prosecution of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who was arrested last month and is now awaiting his extradition hearing in the UK.