Manafort judge refuses to name jurors more than security fears
The judge in the trial of ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort says he will not release the names of jurors because of fears for their safety.
Judge TS Ellis also mentioned he had received threats himself more than the case.
Mr Manafort denies charges of bank and tax fraud, in the very first trial stemming from the inquiry into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 US elections.
The court in Alexandria, Virginia, has heard closing arguments and the jury has retired to consider a verdict.
Prosecutors say the 69-year-old dodged taxes on millions of dollars he made lobbying for Ukrainian politicians.
On Friday, US President Donald Trump stated Mr Manafort was a “extremely very good individual”, describing the trial as “really sad”.
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How did the judge clarify his choice?
Speaking in court although jurors deliberated for a second day, Judge Ellis said: “I had no idea this case would excite these feelings… I never really feel appropriate if I release their names,
“I’ve received criticism and threats. I picture they would, too.”
The judge added that he was becoming protected by US marshals.
A quantity of media outlets had earlier requested the names of jurors. Jury lists are deemed to be public unless a judge bans any access to them.
The judge later allowed the jurors – six males and six females – to finish their perform for the day since a single of them had a social engagement.
If found guilty on the fraud charges, Mr Manafort could invest the rest of his life in jail.
What’s the background?
Mr Manafort managed Mr Trump’s campaign for a number of months in 2016 – and he was in charge when Mr Trump won the Republican party’s nomination.
Final October, he was charged by special counsel Robert Mueller as a portion of the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The allegations against him, nevertheless, are not linked to Mr Trump and as an alternative centre on his consultancy perform with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government located ledgers pledging more than $12m (£9.2m) in money to Mr Manafort for his advisory work with former President Viktor Yanukovych even though he was in workplace, the New York Times reported.
It has also been alleged that he secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to assist President Putin’s political objectives in other parts of the former USSR. Mr Manafort denied the allegation.
Published at Fri, 17 Aug 2018 20:44:22 +0000