Judge 'no choice' but to lock up Manafort

Manafort entered his not-guilty plea in federal court Friday

He faces several felony charges - including tax evasion, bank fraud, money-laundering conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent - related to his Ukrainian political work, money he funneled through offshore accounts and loans he took out on property in the U.S.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mueller last week charged him with witness tampering in the case. "I have no appetite for this".

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia, who ordered the incarceration Friday, said she had chose to take this step because less drastic measures would have been insufficient.

"You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago", Jackson said.

Judge Jackson revoked his bail, ruling in favor of prosecutors who had been pushing for Manafort to be jailed because they did not believe his release terms would prevent him from committing further crimes.

Manafort´s spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on the decision.

Manafort is the first Trump campaign official to be jailed as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The president also referred incorrectly to Manafort's pre-trial detention, calling it a "tough sentence".

Trump also tweeted with sarcasm that he "didn't know Manafort was the head of the Mob" and asked: "What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others?"

Manafort served as Trump's campaign chairman from March 29, 2016 until August 19 of the same year.

Moscow denies US intelligence agency allegations that it interfered in the election and Trump denies collusion.

His trial in Alexandria, the U.S. state of Virginia, on bank fraud charges is set in July, and a separate one in Washington, DC, for him on charges of money laundering and fraud conspiracy is scheduled for September.

Manafort was brought in to the campaign in March of 2016, largely to save Trump, who was then the leading candidate for the Republican nomination, from getting overthrown on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

The obstruction charges flow out of lobbying work in 2012 on behalf of Ukraine's pro-Russian president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych, and his Party of Regions.

Manafort had been out on $US10 million ($A13 million) bond and had been wearing an ankle bracelet and under house arrest, but US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson concluded that the violations of his bail warranted incarceration.

Kilimnik, whom Mueller´s office says has ties to Russian intelligence, could not be reached for comment.

On Feb. 26, Manafort sent the person a series of messages through an encrypted application, including a link to a Business Insider story with the headline: "Former European leaders struggle to explain themselves after Mueller claims Paul Manafort paid them to lobby for Ukraine". And he argued that Manafort could not have known the men he contacted were witnesses.

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