Chelsea Manning Goes Back To Jail After Refusing To Testify

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning leaves prison heads straight for booze and pizza READ MORE

Manning, who spent seven years in military prisons for leaking United States secrets to WikiLeaks in 2010 and then two more months in an Alexandria, Virginia, jail this year on contempt charges, had said before the hearing that she would again refuse to testify.

Manning's lawyers had argued that she should not be jailed because she has proven that she will refuse to testify no matter how long she's jailed.

"Attempting to coerce me with a grand jury subpoena is not going to work". "I would rather starve to death than change my opinion to this regard".

Trenga said Manning could be held for up to 18 months if she doesn't comply with the subpoena.

If a judge were to determine that incarcerating Manning were punitive rather than coercive, Manning would not be jailed. In addition to being in jail, the judge ordered Manning to start paying 500 dollars per day in fines after 30 days in jail and one thousand dollars per day after 69 days.

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United States prosecutors are seeking the extradition of Assange from the United Kingdom, where he is serving a 50-week jail term for skipping bail, to face charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

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.

After Thursday's hearing, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, G. Zachary Terwilliger, told reporters that the "only thing being asked of [Manning] is to answer questions truthfully".

Assange now faces extradition to the United States from the UK on a hacking charge for allegedly seeking to assist Manning to crack a password so she could remain anonymous on a military computer network. "She can get out of jail at any time if she complies", Thomas Traxler, an assistant USA attorney, said during the hearing.

He noted that the grand jury has given her immunity for her truthful testimony and that grand juries' role in the legal system is to serve as a check on prosecutors by requiring them to present evidence to a group of ordinary citizens before obtaining an indictment.

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The Mueller report accused Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, of covering up for the Russians as the source of private documents from the Hillary Clinton campaign that they leaked before the 2016 election. She was charged with leaking only portions of a couple of hundred documents and was sentenced by a military judge to 35 years in prison in 2013.

Manning has argued that Assange's indictment is proof that her testimony is no longer needed and is merely meant to harass her.

If there is already an indictment against Assange, what's the goal of another grand jury, Manning asked reporters.

Manning claims that grand juries - the proceedings of which are kept secret - can be abused to unfairly compel testimony with little transparency.

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