Lawyers to begin closing arguments in explosive Manafort trial

Lawyers to begin closing arguments in explosive Manafort trial
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Alexandria (United States) (AFP) - Lawyers will begin closing arguments Wednesday in the explosive trial of former Donald Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, after which the veteran political operative's fate will rest with the jury.

After hearing some 20 witnesses for prosecutors describe how Manafort allegedly evaded taxes on millions of dollars and repeatedly lied to banks as he borrowed millions more, a jury of 12 could begin deliberating on the case as early as late Wednesday.

Lawyers for Manafort, 69, who faces 18 counts related to tax and bank fraud, had tried to get federal Judge T.S. Ellis to throw out some or all of the charges against him, but Ellis rejected the motion.

In a two-week trial that highlighted Manafort's lavish spending on clothing, including $15,000 for an ostrich-skin bomber jacket and landscaping one of his homes with a flower bed shaped like the letter "M," the jury heard from a former partner and a former accountant on how the longtime political consultant doctored his accounts and laundered tens of millions of dollars through offshore banks.
 
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