Manafort says he’s being treated like a 'VIP' in jail: Court filing

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In earlier court filings, Mr. Manafort's attorney said the distance of Northern Neck jail - two hours from Washington, D.C. - has made it hard to adequately prepare for trial.

"Among the unique privileges Manafort enjoys at the jail are a private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates' units, his own bathroom and shower facility, his own personal telephone and his own workspace to prepare for trial", alleged Mueller's team.

The Northern Neck Regional Jail is about 100 miles from Washington, and Manafort lawyers wrote in a filing last week that the two-hour trip and restrictions on electronic or telephone communications "has made meetings.to prepare his defense far more infrequent and enormously time-consuming". One trial is set for July 25 in Alexandria, Virginia, and the second case in Washington, D.C., has a September 17 trial date.

Manafort made a similar request in the case against him in D.C., where U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson similarly ruled in Mueller's favor.

On Tuesday, Judge T.S. Ellis sought to address Manafort's complaint about the remoteness of the jail by ordering him moved from the current facility in Warsaw, Virginia, to a jail in Alexandria closer to his attorneys and his home. The unit also has a personal laptop which can be used in both his unit and his separate workroom.

Manafort's legal team shot back in their own filing Wednesday, calling prosecutors' characterization of Manafort's living conditions as "self-serving and inaccurate".

The back-and-forth matters because Manafort has cited restrictive conditions of his pretrial detention as a reason to postpone his case on bank and tax fraud charges until at least the autumn. "Manafort is also not required to wear a prison uniform".

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They also said Manafort has said in the calls that he is able to visit with his lawyers every day and that he has 'all my files like I would at home'.

"Review of that material can be accomplished well in advance of the July 25 trial date and does not warrant a months-long adjournment", the government filings said.

Manafort has been held there since June 15, when a judge in Washington, D.C., ordered him detained, partly because of new charges that he had attempted to tamper with witnesses. According to the filing, Manafort reads and writes emails on a second laptop that his team brings in and out of the prison.

"Manafort can hardly now complain about the order of the trials", the special counsel attorneys said. Manafort denies all the charges.

Updated at 2:05 p.m.

Manafort's lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.

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