Former chairperson of Donald Trump’s campaign Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates on Monday pleaded not guilty after a federal grand jury indicted them on 12 counts as part of the special counsel investigation into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, Fox News reported.
The judge set bonds at $10 million (around Rs 64.80 crore) for Manafort and $5 million (around Rs 32.40 crore) for Gates. Both men, who had surrendered earlier in the day, will be under house arrest.
Monday’s charges do not relate to US President Trump’s campaign, but to the two men’s Ukrainian business dealings up to 2015, the BBC reported. They were charged with funneling $75 million (around Rs 486 crore) through offshore shell companies and secretly working with a pro-Russia party in Ukraine, the New York Post reported.
The charges were filed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged financial dealings between Trump’s aides and foreign governments, including Russia and Turkey. According to records seen by The New York Times on Monday, Gates’ name also appears on documents connected with companies that Manafort’s firm set up in Cyprus. These firms were allegedly set up to receive payments from politicians and entrepreneurs in Eastern Europe.