Manning seeks presidential pardon

Attorney of US soldier jailed for leaking files to WikiLeaks writes to President Obama for full pardon.

    Manning was convicted of 20 charges, including espionage and theft and sentenced to 35 years. [AFP]
    Manning was convicted of 20 charges, including espionage and theft and sentenced to 35 years. [AFP]

    Chelsea Manning, the US soldier convicted of providing secret files to WikiLeaks in the biggest breach of classified materials in the nation's history, has asked for a presidential pardon, his supporters have said.

    The request for Private Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley, was filed by attorney David Coombs on Tuesday, according to a statement on the Pardon Private Manning website on Wednesday.

    "I urge you to consider this matter closely and to take a positive step towards protecting whistle-blowers who release information to the media for the public good by either reducing Private Manning's sentence to time served, or by granting him a full pardon," Coombs said in a letter to President Barack Obama.

    The application includes a supporting letter from Amnesty International.

    Obama has received 1,496 petitions for pardons and 8,313 for commutation of sentence.

    He has granted 39 pardons and one commutation, according to the Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney.

    A court-martial convicted Manning on 20 charges, including espionage and theft, for providing more than 700,000 classified files, videos and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, a pro-transparency website.

    Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on August  21.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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