U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is close to winning release from house arrest after satisfying terms for posting a $10 million bond.
Manafort has been confined at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, since his October 30 arrest on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent when he was working for the government of Ukraine's former pro-Russia president, Viktor Yanukovych.
U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson on December 15 said she will order Manafort's release once he executes documents agreeing to forfeit $10 million in property posted as bond, should he ever fail to appear for court proceedings.
Prosecutors working with U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller sought to prevent Manafort's release, citing his recent move to write opinion articles about his work for Ukraine, which they said violated the court's order not to discuss the case publicly.
Jackson overruled their objections, but chided Manafort over the opinion pieces. To be released from home confinement, she said Manafort must execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties, including his Florida home and the home in Alexandria.
He will be subject to restrictions upon release, including a curfew and electronic GPS monitoring, but will be allowed to live in his Palm Beach home and commute to Alexandria for the trial, she said.
Manafort is being prosecuted as part of Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
In case the forfeited properties do not raise $10 million, Jackson said, Manafort's wife, Kathleen, and his daughter, Andrea Manafort Shand, have deposited $7 million into bank accounts to make up the difference.
Once in Florida, Manafort cannot leave the country and must stay near his home, the judge said, and he needs permission to travel within the United States.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters