WikiLeaks has sent an extraordinary offer to outgoing President Barack Obama – free Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange will agree to US extradition to face charges resulting from a grand jury investigation.
Some US lawmakers and commentators have called for Assange to be charged with espionage or for conspiracy to obtain secret documents, arguing that he intended to sabotage America’s foreign policy and endangered lives.
The extraordinary offer comes after Barack Obama reportedly put Chelsea Manning on a ‘short list’ to have her 35-year prison sentence reduced.
Manning, a former US Army intelligence analyst, was jailed in 2010 after handing 700,000 military files, diplomatic cables and videos to WikiLeaks.
But a decision on a possible commutation could be imminent, according to NBC News.
Deborah Manning, Manning’s aunt, told the news channel she had “more hope right now” than at any other time since her sentence.
The Independent reports Manning has tried to kill herself twice in the past year, and went on hunger strike in September in a bid to receive gender reassignment surgery.
With just nine days to go of Mr Obama’s presidency, Manning believes a petition she made to the President in November is her last chance “for a very long time”.
It is widely thought President-elect Donald Trump will not look favourably on the 29-year-old and will let her life sentence run its course.