Chelsea Manning released from jail after refusing to testify

Chelsea Manning released from jail after refusing to testify

Former United States intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has been released from jail, despite refusing to testify before an investigation into Wikileaks.

The 31-year-old was held in custody for 62 days after a Virginia judge found her in contempt of court for failing to comply with a subpoena.

Ms Manning will be required to appear before a grand jury on 16 May, having been served with another subpoena prior to her release on Thursday.

“Today marked the expiration of the term of the grand jury, and so, after 62 days of confinement, Chelsea was released from the Alexandria Detention Center earlier today,” her lawyers said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, even prior to her release, Chelsea was served with another subpoena. It is therefore conceivable that she will once again be held in contempt of court, and be returned [to custody].

“Chelsea will continue to refuse to answer questions, and will use every available legal defence to prove … that she has just cause for her refusal to give testimony.”

Ms Manning refused to answer further questions about Wikileaks because she says she already presented her testimony during her 2013 trial.

In 2010 Ms Manning was arrested in Iraq for disclosing more than 700,000 intelligence documents to whistleblowing organisation Wikileaks.

She was convicted of charges including espionage and sentenced to 35 years imprisonment, but her sentence was commuted in 2017 by then President Barack Obama, who said the sentence was “disproportionate”.

Ms Manning has consistently maintained that she leaked the documents to spark debate about US foreign policy, not to endanger lives.

US prosecutors have been investigating Wikileaks for many years. Its founder, Julian Assange, was recently surrendered to British police after spending seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for contempt of court.

In November possible charges against Mr Assange were inadvertently revealed by US prosecutors, and it is believed the US will seek to extradite him.

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