US judge sends Manafort to jail

Washington, June 16: A US federal judge has revoked former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s bail and ordered him to jail pending trial, citing newly filed obstruction of justice charges. The judge made the decision on Friday after special counsel Robert Mueller, who’s leading the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 US presidential election, alleged that Manafort and one of his associates had tried to tamper with witnesses in the case, Xinhua reported. According to reports, two witnesses reported to Mueller that Manafort had attempted to influence their testimony.

Prosecutors argued on Friday that Manafort could continue to engage in alleged criminal activity if he is not jailed. Manafort entered a not guilty plea to charges for witness tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Manafort is the first Trump campaign official to be jailed as part of Mueller’s investigation. He was first indicted last fall and has remained on home confinement. His trial in Alexandria, the US state of Virginia, on bank fraud charges is set in July, and a separate one in Washington, DC, for him on charges of money laundering and fraud conspiracy is scheduled for September. Manafort will remain in jail while awaiting those trials in coming months. It’s not clear when he could be taken into custody and where he could be held. (IANS)