Ex-Trump aide Manafort jailed ahead of trial over Russia meddling

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Donald Trump’s former campaign manager will be held in jail before his trial after a judge revoked his bail.

Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty to new charges of witness tampering when he appeared in court in Washington DC on Friday.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson decided to revoke his current bail conditions and sent him to jail before his trial, as a result of the new allegations.

She told him he had treated the court proceedings as “just another marketing exercise”.

She said: “You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago.”

Paul Manafort arrives for his court hearing on 15 June trump Ex-Trump aide Manafort jailed ahead of trial over Russia meddling skynews trump manafort russia 4337082
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Manafort has pleaded not guilty to new charges of witness tampering

Mr Manafort, 69, was previously under house arrest and forced to wear a GPS monitoring device.

Judge Jackson has previously refused to end the house arrest after Mr Manafort offered $10m in real estate as collateral.

According to the prosecution, Mr Manafort and his associate Konstantin Kilimnik attempted to tamper with the witnesses in the case, asking them to lie about the nature of their political work in Ukraine.

They say the two men asked the witnesses to say the political work was only carried out in Europe, and not the US, although the witnesses know this is not the case.

Mr Manafort’s lawyers say he has not done anything wrong and accused prosecutors of conjuring a “sinister plot” out of “innocuous” contacts with witnesses.

Donald Trump waves as he steps off Air Force One on his return to the US trump Ex-Trump aide Manafort jailed ahead of trial over Russia meddling skynews north korea donald trump 4335558
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Donald Trump has previously said he could excuse himself from the Mueller investigation

Mr Manafort faces several charges related to his Ukrainian political work and money he funnelled through offshore accounts.

His lawyers filed a memo in court on Friday, written by a witness, which they say shows the nature of the Hapsburg group’s work was European-focused.

However prosecution lawyers then filed a 2013 note from Mr Manafort to then-Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych which said he had designed a programme which used the Hapburg’s members to lobby US politicians and influence American public opinion.

The charges stem from an investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election, which is being led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Manafort has been indicted in Washington DC and Virginia including a charge of conspiracy against the United States.

He faces two trials, one in Virginia due to begin on 25 July, and another in the nation’s capital, scheduled to start in September.



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