A federal judge on Thursday ordered the immediate release of Chelsea Manning, the former US Army soldier who went to prison for passing classified materials to Wikileaks. The release order came a day after Manning was hospitalized following a suicide attempt.
She was jailed in March 2019 for contempt of court when she refused to testify in front of a grand jury investigating Wikileaks. She said at the time that she already revealed everything she knew at her court martial and told the judge she’d “accept whatever you bring upon me.”
Manning, who is transgender, attempted suicide on Wednesday morning at the adult detention center in Alexandria, Virginia, where Manning is incarcerated, her legal team said in a statement. She was taken to a hospital, where she’s currently recovering.
Federal District Court Judge Anthony J. Trenga, who ordered Manning’s release on Thursday, also dismissed the grand jury Manning refused to testify before after finding that its business had concluded.
“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,” Judge Trenga wrote in his opinion.
Manning, a former intelligence analyst in Iraq, was imprisoned in 2010 after leaking classified diplomatic and military documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, including a graphic video of Iraqis being gunned down during a US helicopter attack in Baghdad. She was convicted of leaking the documents in 2013 and sentenced to 35 years in prison, of which she served seven years before her sentence was commuted by outgoing President Barack Obama in 2017.
The judge denied Manning’s request to nullify the fines she accrued on a daily basis while in custody and ordered her to pay $256,000.