U.S. appeals court denies Chelsea Manning's bid to leave jail
WASHINGTON, April 22 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. federal appeals court on Monday turned down a bid by the former Iraq-based Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to be released from jail, and upheld a lower court's decision to hold Manning in civil contempt for refusing to testify over WikiLeaks probe.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in eastern U.S. state of Virginia said in a brief order that it had no quibble with U.S. District Court Judge Claude Hilton's decision last month to find Manning in contempt.
"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 appeals court's order said.
"The court also denies appellant's motion for release on bail," the order went on.
Manning, who gave a trove of classified data to WikiLeaks in 2010, was arrested early March for refusing to testify to a grand jury probing the international anti-secrecy website.
Manning will be held in jail until she testifies before the grand jury or that grand jury is no longer operating, Claude Hilton, a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia, ruled at the time.
"The court may find me in contempt and order me to jail," Manning said in a statement issued last month. "In solidarity with many activists facing the odds, I will stand by my principles."
Manning could ask the full bench of the 4th Circuit to take up her appeal or she could ask for review by the Supreme Court, local analysts said.
Local media said prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia have been investigating WikiLeaks for years, and revealed last year that they had charged the website's founder Julian Assange under seal.
Manning, a transgender formerly known as a male soldier called Bradley Manning, was arrested in 2010 after leaking 700,000 military files including a battlefield video and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, the largest leak of classified data in U.S. history.
She was court-martialed and sentenced in 2013 to 35 years in jail, the longest sentence ever imposed for a leak conviction in U.S. history. Yet in January 2017, then outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama shortened the sentence to seven years after she had requested clemency. Manning walked out of a military prison in May that year.