General upholds conviction, 35-year sentence in Chelsea Manning case

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Images from one of the videos leaked by Chelsea Manning.

An Army general has upheld the conviction and 35-year prison sentence for Private Chelsea Manning, who turned over classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Maj. Gen. Jeffery S. Buchanan, commander of the Military District of Washington, upheld the conviction according to an announcement from the Army on April 14.

That decision now clears the way for an automatic appeal of the case to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

Manning's appellate lawyers said on April 13 that they expected the appeal to focus on issues including alleged misuse of the Espionage Act.

Manning, a 26-year-old native of Crescent, Okla., was sentenced in August 2013 for six Espionage Act violations and 14 other offenses for leaking more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents, plus some battlefield video, while serving in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.

Buchanan had the option of approving or reducing the court-martial findings.

Manning is serving her sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Military prosecutors at Manning's trial last summer called the former intelligence analyst an anarchist hacker and traitor who indiscriminately leaked information she had sworn to protect.

The leak was one of the largest of classified information in U.S. history.

Manning's supporters say she is a whistleblower who exposed U.S. war crimes and diplomatic hypocrisy while working in Iraq.

Manning was convicted in July 2013 of 20 crimes but acquitted of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy.

After sentencing, Manning came out as a transgender woman.

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.