Former lawyer of ex-US President Trump implicates him in hush money case

Donald Trump's former lawyer has testified that he made hush money payments to an adult film actress at the direction of the former US President.

Michael Cohen spoke as the prosecution's star witness at the hearing in New York state criminal court on Monday.

The trial has been held since last month after prosecutors charged Trump with falsifying business records. This was in relation to hush money paid to an adult film star during his 2016 presidential election campaign.

Cohen referred to his payment worth 130,000 dollars to the actress, saying that "Everything required Mr. Trump's sign-off." He also said Trump told him, "Just do it."

He also testified that he and the former president had communicated mostly by phone or in person, noting that Trump frequently said people could get in trouble when communicating by email.

Cohen said it was all about the election campaign. He said Trump said it could be a disaster if the sex scandal comes out.

After leaving the courtroom, Trump said, "I think it's terrible thing that's happening to democracy in this country." He also said, "There is no fraud here, there's no crime here," and repeated his claim of being not guilty.