US judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort

Manafort (above) will be subject to restrictions including a curfew and electronic GPS monitoring. PHOTO: WASHINGTON POST/BILL O'LEARY

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - A US District Court judge on Friday (Dec 15) said she would release former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from house arrest once he meets certain conditions, expressing satisfaction that the US$10 million (S$13 million) he agreed to forfeit would be available if he ever failed to appear for court proceedings.

In her order, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to be released from home confinement, Manafort must execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties, including two in New York, one in Alexandria, Virginia, and his Florida home.

He will be subject to restrictions including a curfew and electronic GPS monitoring but will be allowed to leave his home in Alexandria for his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, once he meets the conditions.

Manafort is charged with conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent working on behalf of the government of Ukraine's former pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.

He is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of Mueller's investigation into accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

In case the forfeited properties do not raise US$10 million, the judge said, Manafort's wife, Kathleen, has deposited US$5 million in an account and his daughter Andrea Manafort Shand, US$2 million in a separate account, to make up any difference. The assets cannot be touched without a court order.

Once in Florida, Manafort must stay within the area, unless he is travelling to Washington for court appearances or meetings with counsel, according to the order. He needs permission for any other domestic travel and cannot leave the country.

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