16:08 GMT +323 July 2019
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    Paul Manafort, former advisor to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign, as he checks the teleprompters before Trump's speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. (File)

    Judge Sentences Manafort to 43 More Months in Prison

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    Earlier, Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, was sentenced to 47 months in prison in the US state of Virginia for bank and tax fraud in connection with his work in Ukraine.

    Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the Federal District Court in Washington ordered on Wednesday that Trump's former campaign head, who had already been sentenced last week to almost four years in prison, is to serve an additional 3.5 years and $6 million fine for conspiracy, concluding Robert Mueller's highest-profile prosecution.

    Paul Manafort was sentenced on two conspiracy counts, including money-laundering, obstruction of justice, and failing to disclose lobbying work that brought him millions of dollars over a decade.

    "It is hard to overstate the number of lies and the amount of fraud and the amount of money involved," Judge Jackson said, commenting on the case, adding that "a significant portion of his career has been spent gaming the system."

    Speaking in front of the judge, his lawyer, Kevin Downing, stated that while he was not accusing the office of Robert Mueller of launching a politically motivated prosecution, he added that "for a short stint as campaign manager in a national election, I don't think we would be here today".

    READ MORE: Trump Ex-Campaign Manager Manafort Given 47 Months in Prison

    Apart from that, the District Attorney's Office in New York County said in a press release that Paul Manafort has been charged with residential mortgage fraud in New York.

    "Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. today announced the indictment of Paul Manafort, 69, for a yearlong residential mortgage fraud scheme through which Manafort and others falsified business records to illegally obtain millions of dollars," the release said.

    No Evidence of Russian Collusion

    Downing told reports outside the courthouse that the US federal judge presiding over President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort's second court case acknowledged that there was no evidence of collusion between the defendant and Russia.

    "Judge [Amy Berman] Jackson conceded that there was absolutely no evidence of any Russian collusion in case, so that makes two courts," Downing told reports outside the courthouse. "Two courts have ruled no evidence of any collusion with any Russians."

    The Special Counsel has been investigating accusations against Russia, which allegedly meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, as well as allegations of collusion between Trump's campaign team and Moscow.

    Moscow, in turn, has repeatedly denied interfering in the election, saying the allegations were made up as an excuse for the defeat of Trump's campaign opponent as well as to deflect public attention from actual instances of electoral fraud and corruption.

    The claims of collusion have also been repeatedly dismissed by US President Donald Trump, who has called Mueller's probe a "witch hunt."

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