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Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning Sentence, Pardons Retired General Cartwright

Chelsea Manning, then known as Bradley, in a 2013 photo

U.S. President Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst who is serving 35 years in prison for leaking classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks.

The White House said on January 17 that Manning is now scheduled to be released on May 17.

Manning, an imprisoned transgender soldier formerly known as U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, was convicted in August 2013 on espionage charges and other offenses after admitting to handing the classified documents over to WikiLeaks.

The commuting of Manning's sentence came as, in one of his final acts as president, Obama pardoned 64 people and commuted the sentences of 209 others.

Among those to receive a full pardon was retired U.S. Marine Corps General James Cartwright, who pleaded guilty in October to falsely denying to U.S. federal investigators that he had been the source of leaked classified information.

Cartwright had been due to face sentencing on January 17 for the charges and could have received a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The information leaked by Cartwright was published in a book by New York Times journalist David Sanger.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa