Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks source, appealing contempt ruling: Report
Chelsea Manning has asked a federal appeals court to reverse a recent contempt ruling that resulted in the convicted WikiLeaks source’s reimprisonment, a report said Friday.
Attorneys for Manning have urged the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a lower court’s decision that found the former soldier in contempt for refusing to cooperate with federal prosecutors investigating WikiLeaks, Politico reported.
The appeal was filed under seal, the report said, after Manning, 31, was cited for contempt and jailed March 8.
A former Army intelligence analyst, Manning was convicted and sentenced in 2013 in connection with supplying WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of documents subsequently released through the anti-secrecy group’s website. She was released from prison in 2017 after having most of her sentence commuted during by outgoing President Barack Obama.
Manning was recently subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury convened in Alexandria, Virginia, where her lawyers said prosecutors had hoped to ask her questions related to her WikiLeaks disclosures. She refused and was ordered jailed until she agrees to cooperate or the grand jury expires.
Neither lawyers representing Manning nor a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria immediately answered messages about Politico’s report.
Manning’s contributions to WikiLeaks included detailed accounts of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, diplomatic cables containing sensitive communications and video evidence of a U.S. airstrike killing several civilians and journalists, among other materials. She said during her 2013 court-martial that she submitted the documents under her own volition.
Kristinn Hrafnsson, a longtime WikiLeaks collaborate who replaced publisher Julian Assange as the site’s top editor, said in an interview Friday that Manning is “incredibly brave” for refusing to cooperate.
“She gave full testimony in her court-martial, she was sentenced, she served seven years in jail in conditions that were tantamount to torture by U.N. standards, and then pardoned by Obama towards the end of his term, perhaps remembering that he campaigned on a platform of protecting whistleblowers. And now years later, being hauled to jail for refusing to testify against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. She needs a lot of support,” said Mr. Hrafnsson, the Reykjavk Grapevine reported.