World News

Manafort judge says he’s received threats, won’t name jurors

Manafort judge says he’s received threats, won’t name jurors

A jury in Virginia completed its first day of deliberations on Thursday in the bank and tax fraud trial of Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, after asking the judge for the definition of "reasonable doubt".

I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad, when you look at what's going on there. "I think it's very sad what they have done to Paul Manafort".

Earlier Friday morning, Ellis acknowledged facing pushback about how he's handled this case.

The questions came after roughly seven hours of deliberation, delivered in a handwritten note to Ellis.

Ellis said that he had not anticipated the intense public interest in the case and the emotion surrounding it before the former Trump campaign manager's trial began more than two weeks ago.

Manafort, 69, faces five counts of filing false tax returns, four counts of failing to disclose his offshore bank accounts and nine counts of bank fraud.

Prosecutors said Manafort had collected $65 million in foreign bank accounts from 2010 to 2014 and spent more than $15 million on luxury purchases in the same period, including high-end clothing, real estate, landscaping and other big-ticket items.

More news: Trump’s military parade postponed after US$92 million cost revelation

Last October, he was charged by special counsel Robert Mueller as a part of the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

It is unusual for a US president to make comments about the character of a defendant in an ongoing trial and criticize the legal proceedings.

"We trust jurors to be on their best behaviour and wall themselves off but that kind of goes against human nature", Mr Ohlin said.

"I do somehow think he has gotten his back up personally about Greg Andres".

The jury ended its first day of deliberations with a series of questions to the judge, including a request to "redefine" reasonable doubt. The judge told them reasonable doubt "is a doubt based on reason", but added: "The government is not required to prove guilt beyond all possible doubt".

Since the start of jury selection, the case has drawn packed galleries to the ninth-floor courtroom and to an overflow courtroom three floors below that hosts a closed-circuit broadcast of the proceedings.

Prosecutors say Manafort hid tens of millions of dollars in foreign income from the IRS, money he made advising politicians in Ukraine.


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