Chelsea Manning was ordered on Thursday to be released from jail, after a federal judge ruled that her testimony against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was no longer necessary. The decision comes one day after Manning reportedly attempted to commit suicide while in federal custody in Alexandria, VA.
Judge Anthony Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia said that because the grand jury was finished deliberating, Manning’s testimony was no longer necessary – ending the former Army analyst’s incarceration which began last May after refusing to appear before the panel and testify against Assange.
Manning was convicted in 2013 of leaking US military secrets and sentenced to 35 years in military prison at Fort Leavenworth before her sentence was commuted in 2017. Assange, meanwhile, was indicted in 2018 on a federal charge of conspiring with Manning to assist in the transmission of U.S. state secrets to WikiLeaks.
For refusing to comply with the order to testify, Manning was hit with a $256,000 fine according to The Hill.
Manning’s publicist, Andy Stepanian, said on Wednesday that his client was recovering in a hospital after the suicide attempt.
Last month, Manning’s lawyers argued for her release on the grounds that detention was unlawfully punitive and served no purpose.