Jury begins fourth day of deliberations in Manafort trial

ALEXANDRIA, USA – The jury began a fourth day of deliberations on Tuesday, August 21, in the trial of Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort, the first resulting from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The case against Manafort stems from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign team and Moscow, and is viewed as an important test for the probe, which the president has repeatedly denounced as a "witch hunt."

But 69-year-old Manafort is charged with crimes that are unrelated to his brief time as campaign chairman.

He is accused of failing to pay taxes on tens of millions of dollars he earned while advising Russian-backed politicians in Ukraine between 2006 and 2015, as well as of providing fraudulent statements to secure bank loans.

The case went to the jury on Thursday after 12 days of gripping testimony about hidden bank accounts, betrayal and lavish spending by Manafort on luxury homes, cars, antique rugs and clothes.

Prosecutors outlined schemes allegedly used by Manafort to avoid paying US taxes on the millions of dollars he earned in Ukraine and then deposited in bank accounts in Cyprus.

Manafort also filed false statements to obtain millions of dollars in loans from banks when his Ukraine consulting fees dried up, according to prosecutors. – Rappler.com