US Army denies clemency for WikiLeaks source Manning

US Army denies clemency for WikiLeaks source Manning

WASHINGTON - A US Army general has denied clemency to the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, upholding a 35-year sentence.

Major General Jeffrey Buchanan, the convening authority in Manning's court-martial, approved the August findings and sentence of military Judge Denise Lind last week, but his decision was only made public Monday.

Manning, who has requested a name change to Chelsea and publicly announced via her lawyers that she considers herself as female, had filed a request for clemency in March.

According to military justice rules, Manning's case will automatically be appealed to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

Manning's supporters say the appeals process should be taken before US federal courts and all the way to the Supreme Court.

Defence attorney David Coombs had asked President Barack Obama to grant clemency to Manning.

In an open letter, Coombs said the former intelligence analyst did not receive a fair trial, and called for Buchanan to reduce the "unjust" and "excessive" sentence.

"The information disclosed by PFC Manning was not our nation's most vital secrets," Coombs wrote.

"The reality of the situation is that this information did not cause any real damage to our country." Lawyers Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward are currently responsible for Manning's appeals procedures.

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