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Manafort tried to broker deal over Assange's handover to US

IANS  |  New York 

Paul Manafort, US Donald Trump's former campaign who awaits sentencing for lying to federal investigators in breach of a plea agreement, flew to to help negotiate a deal for the handover of founder to Washington, a media report said.

report on Monday said that Manafort made the trip mainly to see if he could a deal under which would invest in

But the talks instead turned to a diplomatic point between the US and Ecuador: the fate of the founder

In at least two meetings with Manafort, Ecuadorian Presidenr and his aides discussed their desire to rid themselves of Assange, who has been holed up in the country's Embassy in since 2012, in exchange for concessions like debt relief from the US, informed sources told

They said Manafort suggested he could help negotiate a deal for the handover of Assange to the US, which has long investigated him for the disclosure of secret documents.

Within a couple of days of Manafort's final meeting in Quito, was appointed as the to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters, and it quickly became clear that Manafort was a primary target.

His talks with ended without any deals.

According to the sources, there was no evidence that Manafort was working with or even briefing Trump or other administration officials on his discussions with the Ecuadoreans about Assange.

Manafort and have both denied a recent report in that the former campaign visited Assange at the in in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

In response to the development, Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, said that it was Moreno who broached the issue of Assange and "his desire to remove from Ecuador's embassy".

Manafort "listened but made no promises as this was ancillary to the purpose of the meeting", said Maloni.

Manafort will tentatively face sentencing on March 5, a ruled last week.

The ruling came days after Mueller accused Manafort of repeatedly lying to federal investigators, breaching his plea deal he signed in September.

He is currently in jail in Alexandria,

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 11:28 IST
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