Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Paul Manafort jailed ahead of trial after obstruction charges

Paul Manafort jailed ahead of trial after obstruction charges

Paul Manafort was sent to jail by a judge Friday after being hit with new charges last week of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice by special counsel Robert Mueller.

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

The judge could immediately revoke his bail conditions and send Manafort behind bars as he waits for his trial scheduled for September in the Washington case.

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Four days later, a grand jury indicted Manafort anew, accusing him and an associate of witness tampering.

Judge Jackson has rebuffed Manafort's repeated requests to end his home confinement in exchange for pledging $10 million in real estate as collateral. His attorneys have argued that Manafort didn't do anything wrong and accused prosecutors of conjuring a "sinister plot" out of "innocuous" contacts with witnesses. He faces several felony charges - including tax evasion, bank fraud, money-laundering conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent - related to his Ukrainian political work, money he funneled through offshore accounts and loans he took out on property in the U.S. The witnesses, who had worked with Manafort as he represented a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, have told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that they believed Manafort and Kilimnik were trying to get them to lie about the nature of their work.

Prosecutors provided the judge with a summary of contacts they said were made with potential witnesses between February and April this year using encrypted text messaging apps.

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