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Chelsea Manning back behind bars for refusing to answer questions from a federal grand jury


The former Army analyst was found in contempt of court for not cooperating with WikiLeaks probe

Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Former Army analyst Chelsea Manning — who previously served seven years in prison for leaking classified government documents — was back behind bars on Friday, after being found in contempt of court for refusing to answer questions from a grand jury.

What are the details?

According to Fox News, U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton ordered Manning to be detained after she reaffirmed to the court that she would not cooperate with an investigation into anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, to whom she leaked classified information while working for the military.

The judge's reaction was expected by Manning, who issued a news release on Thursday saying, "On Friday, I will return to federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, for a closed contempt hearing. A judge will consider the legal grounds for my refusal to answer questions in front of a grand jury. The court may find me in contempt, and order me to jail."

Manning explained, "Yesterday, I appeared before a secret grand jury after being given immunity for my testimony. All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010 — answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013."

"I responded to each question with the following statement: 'I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights."

During the hearing on Friday, Manning's attorneys asked the judge to allow their client to be released on house arrest rather than be taken into custody because she has medical complications. The judge denied the request, saying U.S. Marshals were capable of seeing to Manning's medical needs, Fox reported.

According to a subsequent news release from "Chelsea Manning's Support Team" following her detainment, Judge Hilton reportedly informed Manning that the length of her detention would be "until she purges or the end of the life of the grand jury."

The Washington Post reported that Manning is one of several people who have been called in for questioning in recent months to assist in an ongoing investigation of WikiLeaks and the site's founder, Julian Assange.

What's the background?

Manning — who was born a male and formerly named Bradley Manning — was given a 35-year sentence by a military judge in 2013 for leaking the largest cache of classified documents in American history.

Former President Barack Obama commuted Manning's sentence just before he left office.

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