A federal appeals court judge has rejected former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning’s request to be released from jail following her incarceration for contempt of court last month. Manny had previously served seven years in prison for leaking intelligence documents.
Manning, who has been jailed since March 8, argued that her rights were being violated by a grand jury subpoena issued by federal prosecutors to entrap her, says CNN. The former intelligence analyst was subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury weeks before WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was taken into custody and dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Prosecutors refused to clarify why they still need Manning to testify, but they are insistent that she still needs to appear in front of the grand jury to answer their questions. The judge has now ruled that Manning will remain behind bars until she agrees to testify or the grand jury is no longer sitting. It is also possible that a higher court could intervene on her behalf, but today’s decision makes that unlikely.
Politico says that the appeals court stated that they had no issues with the March decision handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Claude Hilton when he found Manning in contempt.
Appeals court rejects Chelsea Manning's effort to leave jail. Manning has been jailed at the Alexandria Detention Center since March 8 after refusing to testify to the Wikileaks grand jury. https://t.co/Hi1pbw5trU
— Debbie (@Dangchick1) April 22, 2019
Manning was ordered to remain behind bars in Alexandria, Virginia, until she agrees to answer the court’s questions about WikiLeaks.
The appeals court’s order says that Judge Hilton’s ruling stands, and Manning is once again denied bail.
“Upon consideration of the memorandum briefs filed on appeal and the record of proceedings in the district court, the court finds no error in the district court’s rulings and affirms its finding of civil contempt. The court also denies appellant’s motion for release on bail.”
Federal prosecutors seem interested in grilling Manning in order to beef up their case against Assange and WikiLeaks. Assange will face extradition proceedings in England with the intention of transporting him into U.S. custody.
As a next step, Manning could ask for all of the judges of the 4th Circuit to consider her appeal or push to be heard by the Supreme Court. Judge Hilton ordered that Chelsea Manning will be confined for the duration of the grand jury or until she agrees to testify about what prosecutors want to know about WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and other related matters.
There is no date in sight for the end of the grand jury, and so it is unclear what length of time Manning could be confined.