News World Chelsea Manning back in prison after refusing to testify
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Chelsea Manning back in prison after refusing to testify

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Manning served seven years of a 35-year military sentence for leaking military and diplomatic documents to Wikileaks before then-President Barack Obama commuted her sentence.
 Photo: AAP
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Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who served years in prison for leaking one of the largest troves of classified documents in US history, was sent to jail Friday for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

US District Judge Claude Hilton ordered Manning to jail for civil contempt of court after a brief hearing in federal court in Alexandria in which Manning confirmed she has no intention of testifying.

She told the judge she “will accept whatever you bring upon me.”

Manning has said she objects to the secrecy of the grand jury process and already revealed everything she knows at her court-martial.

She said prosecutors have granted her immunity for her testimony, which eliminates her ability to invoke her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

“I will not participate in a secret process that I morally object to, particularly one that has been used to entrap and persecute activists for protected political speech,” she said in a statement released after she was taken into custody.

The judge said she will remain jailed until she testifies or until the grand jury concludes its work.

Manning’s lawyers had asked that she be sent to home confinement instead of the jail because of complications she faces in receiving gender-affirming medical care.

The judge said US marshals can handle her medical care.

Prosecutor Tracy McCormick said the jail and the marshals have assured the government that her medical needs can be met.

Amy Bertsch, spokeswoman for the Alexandria jail, confirmed Friday that Manning had been booked.

“Specific details about Ms. Manning’s confinement will not be made public due to security and privacy concerns,” Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne said in a statement.

“We will work closely with the US Marshals to ensure her proper care while she remains at our facility.”

Manning acknowledged going into Friday’s hearing that she might well be incarcerated at its conclusion.

Outside the courthouse, about 10 protesters rallied in her support.

“Obviously, prison is a terrible place,” Manning said.

“I don’t see the purpose to incarcerate people.”

Manning served seven years of a 35-year military sentence for leaking a trove of military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy website before then-President Barack Obama commuted her sentence.

The WikiLeaks investigation has been ongoing for a long time.

Last year, prosecutors in Alexandria inadvertently disclosed that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is facing unspecified, sealed criminal charges in the district.

-AAP