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Manafort Jury Set For Fourth Day Of Deliberations


Paul Manafort (file photo)

The jury in the bank- and tax-fraud trial of U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was set for its fourth day of deliberations on August 21 after failing to reach a verdict the previous day.

The trial is the first to emerge from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian ties with Trump's 2016 campaign.

Manafort, 69, faces 18 counts of tax evasion and banking fraud, with many of the charges centering on allegations that he illegally avoided taxes on some of the $60 million he earned from his political consulting work for the former pro-Russia president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, and his party between 2010 and 2014.

If convicted on all the charges, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Trump has described Manafort as a "very good person" and said the Mueller's case against him is "sad."

"He worked for me for a very short period of time. But you know what? He happens to be a very good person," Trump told reporters last week.

"I think it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort."

On August 20, Trump on Twitter accused Mueller's team of "enjoying ruining people's lives" and trying to influence the upcoming congressional elections in November, in which Trump's Republican party is struggling to maintain its hold on both houses of Congress.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP