Manafort treated as prison ‘VIP’ with his own bathroom, shower, and phone

U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis ordered defense attorneys and prosecutors to appear July 17 in court for oral arguments on delaying the trial.

In the meantime, he said Manafort would be moved from the Northern Neck to the jail in Alexandria, in suburban Washington, "to ensure that the defendant has access to his counsel and can adequately prepare his defense".

"On the monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a 'VIP, '" prosecutors quoted him as having said.

In monitored phone calls at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Va., Manafort has told others he is being treated like a "VIP", the government team added. "There is a strategy to it, even in failure, but there's a hope in it".

Though Manafort's lawyers have said he spends almost all of his days in solitary confinement, prosecutors described his living arrangements as a "private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates' units" with its own bathroom and shower.

"It is surprising and confusing when counsel identifies a problem and then opposes the most logical solution to that problem", Ellis wrote. "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer. can not be easily explained or resolved". In the last three weeks alone, he's had more than 100 phone calls with his lawyers and more than 200 with other people.

The D.C. filing came as Manafort appealed the ruling last month that sent him to jail after a federal judge ended his home detention and ordered him detained following Manafort's indictment on attempted witness tampering while he had been awaiting trial.

Between the hours of 8:30am to 10:00pm, Manafort has access to a separate workroom at the jail to meet with his attorneys and legal team.

"Contrary to Manafort's assertions about his jail conditions, Manafort is in a private unit in which he can review materials and prepare for trial", the filing from Mueller's team states. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

While the charges against Manafort center on his private work for a Russia-backed Ukranian political party, they were brought by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election/ Prosecutors say he got one favorable loan only because the bank chairman wanted a job in the Trump administration. He has scheduled a hearing on both issues for Tuesday at 1 p.m.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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