Whistle blower Chelsea Manning has been sent back to jail for refusing to testify in the Wikileaks investigation in the US.
The former US Army intelligence analyst had just been released after 62 days behind bars, on a technicality that the grand jury had expired.
Now that there’s a new grand jury in place in the ongoing WikiLeaks case, US District Judge Anthony Trenga today found Manning to be in civil contempt for refusing to testify and said that more jail time could change her mind.
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It’s believed that Manning’s testimony could help bring further charges against Australian Julian Assange – the founder of Wikileaks.
At the moment, the US only has one count of ‘conspiracy to commit computer intrusion’ for Assange, for allegedly aiding Manning in accessing the classified documents relating to America’s involvement in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
The US is currently trying to extradite Assange from the UK – where he’s serving 50 weeks for breaching UK bail – to face the charge.
However Manning has already served time for the crime, she was sentenced to 35 years back in 2010, but only served seven until former US President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.
It’s understood Manning has consistently refused to testify against Assange, because of the secrecy surrounding the investigation.
Apparently there are aspects of the trial that the US federal government insist remain kept secret from the public.
Outside court this week, Manning said she’d rather ‘starve to death’ than participate in the trial, and asserted her right to remain silent.
“The government cannot build a prison bad enough, cannot create a system worse than the idea that I would ever change my principles,” Manning told reporters.
While it’s unknown how long she’ll spend in prison this time, it’s believed she may be coerced with daily fines for not cooperating.
It’s believed the fines could start at $500 a day and increase to as much as $1,000.