Judge orders Chelsea Manning's release from jail

Judge orders Chelsea Manning's release from jail
© Greg Nash

Chelsea ManningChelsea Elizabeth Manning Chelsea Manning tests positive for COVID-19 Julian Assange stripped of Ecuadorian citizenship Biden DOJ to continue to seek Assange extradition MORE, a former Army analyst convicted of leaking U.S. military secrets, will be freed from jail after a federal judge ruled on Thursday that her testimony against WikiLeaks publisher Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeTrump administration mulled kidnapping, assassinating Julian Assange: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats stare down 'hell' week Chelsea Manning tests positive for COVID-19 MORE was unnecessary.   

Manning had been held since last May over her refusal to appear before a grand jury considering an indictment of Assange. 

Judge Anthony Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia said that because the grand jury’s work had concluded, Manning’s testimony was no longer needed. 

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“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,” wrote Trenga, a George W. Bush appointee.

Trenga ordered Manning to pay $256,000 in fines for non-compliance.

Manning’s release order comes a day after reports emerged that she attempted suicide while in federal custody in Alexandria, Va.

Andy Stepanian, a publicist for Manning, said Wednesday that Manning was recovering in a hospital after the event.

Manning’s lawyers filed a request for her release last month, arguing her detention was unlawfully punitive with no purpose because she would not testify under any circumstances.

The former analyst was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to 35 years in military prison at Fort Leavenworth before President Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.

Assange was indicted in 2018 on a federal charge of conspiring with Manning to help her release U.S. state secrets to WikiLeaks.