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Fri Aug 17, 2018, 12:07 AM

The four questions the Manafort jury asked the judge today.... [View all]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/jury-begins-deliberations-in-paul-manaforts-tax--and-bank-fraud-trial/2018/08/16/d2b0f486-a170-11e8-8e87-c869fe70a721_story.html?utm_term=.ad59042f9641

1. if someone was required to file a form called an FBAR — which is required of people with foreign bank accounts containing more than $10,000 — if they owned less than 50 percent of such an account and did not have signature authority but did have the ability to direct disbursement. At trial, Manafort’s lawyers suggested their client might have believed he did not have to file such forms, because the companies in question were set up under his consulting firm. After 2011, he shared ownership of the firm equally with his wife. (The Judge said that along with the requirement for people who own more than 50 percent of a company with foreign bank accounts, a person must file FBARs if he “controls the disposition of money, funds, or other assets held in a financial account by direct communications.”)

2. if the judge could define “shelf company” and the filing requirements related to income. Witnesses testified at Manafort’s trial that he used so-called shelf companies — companies previously created by a lawyer in Cyprus that could be used to control the bank accounts in question — in order to move Manafort’s money. To that question, the judge said the jury would have to rely on their memory of the evidence presented at trial.

3. if the judge could “redefine reasonable doubt.” Jurors sometimes struggle with what constitutes a reasonable doubt of someone’s guilt, versus an unreasonable doubt. The judge told them reasonable doubt “is a doubt based on reason,” but added: “The government is not required to prove guilt beyond all possible doubt.”

4. if they could have an updated exhibit list, connecting each piece of evidence to the corresponding charge in the indictment. The judge said they would have to rely on their collective memory to link exhibits to specific charges.


The article says the defense attorney was happy about this. IMO, it's not good if they need a redefinition of reasonable doubt. Then again, it may mean nothing other than clarification, so they know going into the deliberations.

If they're having trouble matching the evidence to the charges, it could take them a while. It could also mean they don't understand all the evidence. This is complicated stuff.

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