Chelsea Manning Refuses to Testify to Grand Jury, Ordered Back Into Federal Custody

Manning said the threat of being locked up did not intimidate her and would not affect her decision

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Former Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning said she'll stay in jail "forever" rather than testify to a grand jury investigating Wikileaks.

Manning appeared in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Thursday afternoon and refused to testify on philosophical grounds.

For her refusal she was held in contempt of court by Judge Anthony Trenga.

Trenga ordered that Manning be immediately remanded into custody until she complied with the grand jury subpoena. He also ordered that after 30 days in custody, Manning will be fined $500 per day. After 60 days, that fine increases to $1000 per day.

Manning spoke to reporters outside the federal courthouse in Alexandria before her scheduled hearing.

"No matter what happens today ... whether I’m placed in confinement or not, I’m not going to comply with this grand jury," Manning said.

Manning said the threat of being locked up did not intimidate her and would not affect her decision, NBC News reported.

"It doesn’t frighten me or disturb me," she said. "I mean, I’ve already been to jail. I’ve already been to prison, so attempting to coerce me with a grand jury subpoena is just not going to work."

Earlier this month, Manning was freed following 62 days in a Virginia jail after refusing to testify before a previous grand jury in the WikiLeaks case.

She was released when the term of that grand jury expired but was then ordered to appear before a separate panel in Alexandria on Thursday.

Manning has argued that she should not be sent to jail because she has already demonstrated that incarceration won't coerce her into testifying. She served seven years in a military prison for leaking a trove of documents to WikiLeaks before then-President Barack Obama commuted the remainder of her 35-year sentence.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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