Chelsea Manning seeks to overturn WikiLeaks court-martial conviction | Reuters

WASHINGTON Chelsea Manning, the U.S. soldier imprisoned for handing over classified files to pro-transparency site WikiLeaks, has appealed to an Army court to overturn her court-martial conviction, a court filing released on Thursday said.

Reuters May 20, 2016 03:15:06 IST
Chelsea Manning seeks to overturn WikiLeaks court-martial conviction
| Reuters

Chelsea Manning seeks to overturn WikiLeaks courtmartial conviction
 Reuters

WASHINGTON Chelsea Manning, the U.S. soldier imprisoned for handing over classified files to pro-transparency site WikiLeaks, has appealed to an Army court to overturn her court-martial conviction, a court filing released on Thursday said.

Lawyers for Manning, 28, filed the motion before the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals. They argued that her 2013 conviction was unconstitutional, and if it is not dismissed, her 35-year sentence should be reduced to 10 years.

"For what PFC (Private First Class) Manning did, the punishment is grossly unfair and unprecedented. No whistleblower in American history has been sentenced this harshly," the lawyers said in the 209-page filing.

A military court convicted Manning, a former intelligence analyst in Iraq, of providing more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to WikiLeaks. It was the biggest breach of classified materials in U.S. history.

Among the files that Manning, who was born a man but identifies as a woman, turned over to WikiLeaks in 2010 was a gunsight video of a U.S. Apache helicopter firing at suspected Iraqi insurgents in 2007. A dozen people were killed, including two Reuters news staff.

Manning's lawyers contend that Manning was held in unlawful pretrial detention for almost a year and that she was overcharged to expose her to excessive punishment. They also argue that the trial judge considered evidence that was not related to the offenses.

The filing urged the appeals court to reconsider Manning's prison term, calling it "perhaps the most unjust sentence in the history of the military justice system."

By contrast, it said that General David Petraeus, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, had disclosed highly classified information to his one-time mistress and biographer. He pleaded guilty in 2015 to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to two years of probation.

The appeal was filed in the Army appeals court in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, on Wednesday. It was released on Thursday after a security review.

Several friend-of-the-court briefs were filed along with the appeal, including from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

(Editing by Alistair Bell)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

also read

India recorded 77 rape cases, 80 murders daily in 2020, says NCRB report; crimes against women highest in Rajasthan
India

India recorded 77 rape cases, 80 murders daily in 2020, says NCRB report; crimes against women highest in Rajasthan

Among states, UP reported the maximum of 3,779 murder cases, followed by Bihar with 3,150 cases, in Maharashtra 2,163 cases were registered, the data showed

Crimes against women, children drop in 2020 but disobedience cases up, says NCRB
India

Crimes against women, children drop in 2020 but disobedience cases up, says NCRB

A total of 3,71,503 cases of crime against women were registered during 2020, showing a decline of 8.3 percent over 2019

'Servers collapsed, machines not working': Glitches plague bitcoin rollout in El Salvador
World

'Servers collapsed, machines not working': Glitches plague bitcoin rollout in El Salvador

There has been skepticism about the government’s enthusiastic adoption of bitcoin since the government announced at a Bitcoin conference in Miami in June