Obama cuts sentence of WikiLeaker Chelsea Manning
PRESIDENT Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of former US military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, the White House says.
The outgoing US President shortened sentences for 209 inmates including Manning.
Manning who is serving 35 years in prison for passing classified files to WikiLeaks, last November asked the Obama administration to commute her sentence to time already served.
Her sentence is now set to expire May 17.
Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, following sex reassignment surgery. Picture: US Army. Source: Supplied
She was known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest and attempted suicide twice last year.
Obama is also pardoning 64 people, including retired Gen. James Cartwright, who was charged with making false statements during a probe into disclosure of classified information.
Most of the other people receiving commutations were serving sentences for non violent drug offences.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ASSANGE?
Last week WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange agreed to be extradited to the US to answer possible charges of espionage under one condition: that President Barack Obama grant clemency to Chelsea Manning.
In a tweet, Assange wrote: "Mr. President, if you grant only one act of clemency as you exit the White House, please: free Chelsea Manning. You alone can save her life," the former NSA contractor said in a tweet.
Assange has been living in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to answer sexual assault allegations.
High-profile government whistleblower Edward Snowden reportedly also appealed to the outgoing US President on Manning's behalf.
Many of Manning's supporters believe the 35-year sentence in a maximum security facility is excessive.