Appeals Court Won’t Release Chelsea Manning From Jail

Detention appears open-ended pending Assange extradition bid

The US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit issued a brief order on Monday ruling that whistleblower Chelsea Manning must remain in jail on contempt charges for refusing to answer grand jury questions in March.

The government wanted Manning to testify against WikiLeaks before a grand jury to build a case against them in general, and founder Julian Assange in particular. Court filings show Manning believes her jailing is an attempt to undermine her testimony in future cases.

Manning’s ongoing, and seemingly open-ended detention seems to be centered on the recent detention of Assange in Britain, and US hopes to ultimately acquire him through extradition.

If the US does get him, they appear to want Manning in jail waiting to testify, or at the very least to harm her ability to testify as a defense witness on Assange’s behalf. Yet this is potentially a very long process, with Britain likely loathe to extradite Assange to the US, where he might be executed.

This effectively means the court is going to be holding Manning, potentially for years on end, for refusing to testify in a case that doesn’t exist, and may ultimately never exist.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of