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Page last updated at 21:30 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 22:30 UK

US mayor jailed for bail breach

Kwame Kilpatrick in court in Detroit, 7 August 2008
Mr Kilpatrick was arrested for travelling to Canada without permission

The mayor of the US city of Detroit has been jailed for violating the terms of his bail in a perjury case.

Kwame Kilpatrick had travelled to Canada without informing the court.

Mr Kilpatrick faces charges including lying under oath to try to cover up an affair with his former chief of staff, misconduct and obstruction of justice.

He is also accused of sacking a police officer who was investigating reports of a wild party at his mayoral mansion. Mr Kilpatrick, 37, denies the charges.

However, he acknowledged that he had made a mistake when he visited Windsor, Ontario, in July on city business, and apologised.

"I've been living in an incredible state of pressure and scrutiny," he said.

No 'willy-nilly' trip

The mayor said he travelled to Windsor - a short distance from Detroit - for discussions relating to the management of a tunnel which links the two cities.

"We got the deal back on track," said Mr Kilpatrick, adding that it was not a "spur of the moment, willy-nilly, I can frolic in Canada" trip.

But Detroit District Court Judge Ronald Giles said he was obliged to treat the mayor like any other defendant.

"What matters to me... is how the court overall is perceived," said the judge.

Although he will be held in a private cell at Wayne County Jail due to his high profile, Mr Kilpatrick will be made to wear the green jumpsuit standard for all inmates, a prison spokesman said.

A prominent African-American politician who was elected mayor at the age of 31, Mr Kilpatrick had been considered one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party, correspondents say.

He has pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied under oath about an alleged affair with an aide, Christine Beatty.

He was charged after sexually explicit text messages surfaced that appeared to contradict his sworn denials, and could face up to 15 years in jail if convicted.


SEE ALSO
US mayor denies scandal charge
25 Mar 08 |  Americas
US mayor shamed by phone scandal
31 Jan 08 |  Americas

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