Monday, 27 May, 2019

Chelsea Manning back in jail for refusing to cooperate with grand jury

Chelsea Manning Chelsea Manning leaves prison heads straight for booze and pizza READ MORE
Steven Clarke | 18 May, 2019, 04:24

"She can get out of jail at any time if she complies", Thomas Traxler, an assistant US attorney, said during the hearing.

Manning's imprisonment Thursday came exactly one week after she was released following a 62-day stint in jail-including a month in solitary confinement-for refusing to testify before a grand jury that, as the Guardian reported, "is presumed to relate to the criminal prosecution" of WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange, who is now fighting the Trump administration's attempt to extradite him to the United States. Manning previously served 63 days in the cooler for refusing to talk, 28 of which were in solitary confinement.

Manning was set free last Thursday when the first grand jury's term expired.

Manning's attorneys attempted to challenge the subpoena during a sealed hearing at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria today, but Trenga said he was not persuaded by their arguments.

"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.

Chelsea Manning spent 7 years in military prisons for leaking USA secrets to WikiLeaks in 2010.

U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been jailed again on civil contempt charges for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury subpoena on Thursday.

Chelsea Manning addresses reporters before entering the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, on May 16, 2019.

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During a court hearing on Thursday, Manning told Judge Anthony Trenga that she has no intention of giving in to government pressure.

Manning spent 62 days in the Alexandria City Jail before being released last week after the term of that grand jury expired.

Manning argues that she should not be sent to jail because she has already demonstrated that incarceration won't coerce her into testifying. "We have a lawfully predicated reason for seeking her testimony and will continue to do so", Terwilliger said.

He ordered a fine of $500 a day if she does not testify within 30 days, raising that to $1,000 a day if she does not testify within 60 days.

Manning was jailed for refusing to testify on March 8. "I will not cooperate with this or any other grand jury", Manning said. She said the isolation caused her "extraordinary pain" and that she was sometimes in a "dissociative stupor".

She added that the prosecutors were asking her to violate her principles and she would not do that.

Concerns about resources for Manning's medical treatments and mental health at Alexandra were raised, though G. Zach Terwilliger, the USA attorney, said they have "bent over backwards to accommodate her needs". 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.

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