“I will accept whatever you bring upon me.”
Former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning was found in contempt of court and taken into custody Friday after refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating WiKiLeaks, a website that publishes secret and classified information.
Manning informed US District Judge Claude Hilton she had no intention to testify, telling the judge she “will accept whatever you bring upon me.” In response, Hilton ordered Manning to jail.
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A defiant Manning objected to the secrecy of the grand jury process.
“These secret proceedings tend to favor the government,” Manning told reporters before the hearing. “I’m always willing to explain things publicly.”
Manning told reporters she already gave the government everything she knows during her military court-martial process. “I’ve given voluminous testimony; I’ve given voluminous information,” she said, alluding to her court-martial.
Moira Meltzer-Cohen, the attorney representing Manning, asked she be given home confinement due to ongoing medical complications related to her gender reassignment surgery. It would be “an act of tremendous cruelty” to send her to jail, Meltzer-Cohen told Hilton. However, the judge concluded US Marshals were adequately equipped to handle her care.
Manning served seven years of a 35-year prison sentence for leaking classified military documents to WiKiLeaks before having her sentence commuted by then-President Barack Obama.
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But no such option will be available this time around, as the judge ordered Manning confined until the grand jury completes its work. Otherwise, the only way for Manning to end her incarceration is to comply by testifying.
Meltzer-Cohen told reporters outside the courthouse it would be “quite likely” that her client would be appealing the judge’s ruling.
WiKiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged in the case that remains under seal. Assange has remained out of reach of US authorities, having been granted asylum by Ecuador while holed up in the country’s London embassy.
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