Jury reaches verdict in Paul Manafort fraud trial

  • Updated
  • 22/08/2018

US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been found guilty on eight counts on Tuesday (local time) following his jury trial.

Manafort was found guilty on one count of failing to file a foreign bank account, two counts of bank fraud and five counts of tax evasion.

This is the first trial stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 US election.

After deliberating for four days, however, the jury of six men and six women told the judge it had failed to reach a decision on the other 10 criminal counts Manafort faced. The judge declared a mistrial on these counts.

The counts against Manafort, a veteran Republican operative, centred on allegations that he hid much of the US$60 million he earned working for a pro-Russian politician in Ukraine in undisclosed overseas bank accounts and failed to pay taxes on it.

The conviction will give momentum to Mr Mueller, who has indicted or secured guilty pleas from 32 people and three companies since the probe started 14 months ago.

It will also undermine efforts by Mr Trump and some Republican lawmakers to paint Mr Mueller's Russia inquiry as a political witch hunt.

In a break with convention, Mr Trump weighed in on the trial on Friday, calling the case against Manafort at the federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, "very sad" and lauding his former associate as a "very good person".

On Monday, Mr Trump accused Mr Mueller's team of "enjoying ruining people's lives" and trying to influence the midterm elections in November when Republicans will try to hold on to control of congress.

"Mueller's Angry Dems are looking to impact the election. They are a National Disgrace!" Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.


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