International

Trump’s former campaign manager faces life sentence


WASHINGTON, March 15 (Xinhua) — There’s a “very real possibility”  that
U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort will
face life imprisonment, a U.S. federal judge said Tuesday in a court order.

“Given the nature of the charges against the defendant and the apparent
weight of the evidence against him, the defendant faces the very real
possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison,” the court paper
issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
said.  The paper dictated that before his trial, Manafort would be subject
to home incarceration with local monitoring, and set a 10 million U.S.
dollar unsecured bail.  “The defendant is a person of great wealth who has
the financial means and international connections to flee and remain at
large, as well as every incentive to do so,” the paper said, directing that
all of Manafort’s passports be confiscated and banning applications for new
passports.

According to U.S. media, Manafort would face a maximum of 305 years in
prison if convicted of all charges. He faces tax charges and nine charges
of bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy each carrying a maximum of 30 years
in prison. Manafort also faces five conspiracy charges and foreign lobbying
violations in a separate case in the District of Columbia, which may bring
a total of 15 to 20 years in prison.  Manafort would be confined to his
home in Alexandria, Virginia until his trials, set for July 10 in Virginia,
and Sept. 17 in Washington.  The ex-lobbyist, a key figure in the ongoing
probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, has
pleaded not guilty to all of his charges.  Should he choose to change his
plea, he would be forced by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office to
reveal his knowledge on Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia.
Republican representatives in the House Intelligence Committee concluded
Monday in a report that no evidence was found pointing to collusion,
attracting a vehement attack from Democrats, who vowed to draft a separate
report after further investigation.