US judge orders WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning to be released from prison immediately

A U.S. federal judge on Thursday ordered that former U.S. Army soldier and WikiLeaks source ChelseaMannings be released immediately from prison, where she was detained for refusing to testify in an ongoing U.S. investigation into WikiLeaks .

An entry into the United States District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, signed by Judge Anthony Trenga, also denied Manning’s request to set aside the fines he had imposed for his refusal to testify and ordered him to pay fines totaling $ 256,000.

A Mannings detention hearing scheduled for Friday has been canceled.

“It goes without saying that we are relieved and ask that you respect her privacy while she gets up,” said Manning’s defense team in an emailed statement.

A spokesman for Manning’s defense team said on Wednesday that Manning had attempted suicide and was taken to hospital, where she was recovering.

Spokesperson Andy Stepanian said that despite his imprisonment and the imposition of financial sanctions, Manning has remained “steadfast in his refusal to participate in secret grand jury proceedings which she considers to be very vulnerable to abuse “.

Prior to his recent incarceration for refusing to testify, Manninghad served seven years in a military prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of US military cables and messages to WikiLeaks, before being released on the orders of President Barack Obama.

WikiLeaks, an Internet-based “dead letter” for leaks of classified or sensitive information, was founded by Australian citizen Julian Assange in 2006.

Assange is being held in a London prison while British courts are considering a U.S. extradition request filed by U.S. prosecutors. He is wanted for conspiracy with Manning to hack into a Pentagon computer system containing classified documents.

(REUTERS)