US judge orders Chelsea Manning freed

Mark Hosenball
Chelsea Manning, who had been jailed for refusing to testify before a grand jury, has been released

Former US Army soldier and WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning has been released from prison on a judge's order after being held since May for refusing to testify in an ongoing US investigation of WikiLeaks.

US District Court Judge Anthony Trenga in Alexandria, Virginia, ordered Manning released because the grand jury hearing the case had concluded.

Alexandria City Sheriff Dana Lawhorne said late on Thursday that Manning had been released from the Alexandria Detention Center.

Trenga rejected a request from Manning to cancel fines that he had imposed for her refusal to testify and ordered her to pay fines totalling $US256,000 ($A400,000).

A detention hearing for Manning scheduled for Friday was cancelled.

"Needless to say we are relieved and ask that you respect her privacy while she gets on her feet," Manning's defence team said in an emailed statement.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Manning's defence team said the former intelligence analyst had attempted to take her own life and had been taken to hospital, where she was recovering.

Spokesman Andy Stepanian said that despite her imprisonment and the imposition of financial sanctions, Manning remained "unwavering in her refusal to participate in a secret grand jury process that she sees as highly susceptible to abuse".

Prior to her recent incarceration for refusing to testify, Manning had served seven years in a military prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of US military messages and cables to WikiLeaks, before being released on the order of former president Barack Obama.

WikiLeaks, an internet-based "dead letter drop" for leakers of classified or sensitive information, was founded by Australian Julian Assange in 2006.

Assange is being held in a London prison as British courts consider a request from US prosecutors for his extradition to the US. He is wanted on charges of conspiring with Manning to hack into a Pentagon computer system containing classified materials.