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Russian embassy in US sends note of protest

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The Russian Embassy in the USA has sent a note of protest to the US State Department in relation to the US court verdict on Russian national Maria Butina’s case. reports citing TASS.

"In relation to the unlawful court verdict, a note of protest has been sent to the [US] State Department. We demand the US officials to ensure the protection of rights and legal interests of our compatriot in accordance with international human rights norms," the Russian embassy stated.

The embassy added that Russian diplomats had visited Maria Butina in prison. "Despite the unjust and severe verdict issued on April 26, our compatriot endures the hardships of her prison sentence stoically and with dignity," the statement by the embassy says.

On April 26, a court in Washington sustained the prosecution’s request for sentencing Butina to 18 months behind bars. Judge Tanya Chutkan ignored the defense lawyers’ request that Butina should be sentenced to a term equal to the period she had already spent in custody.

Butina’s case

Maria Butina, 30, was arrested in Washington DC on July 15, right before the Helsinki meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump. The US Department of Justice said that she was suspected of acting "as an agent of Russia inside the United States by developing relationships with US persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation."

On December 13, Butina pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to violate the US law governing foreign agents operating in the country and signed a plea agreement. The prosecution said at the time that the process of Butina’s cooperation with the investigation might take some time.

Butina had arrived in the United States for a course of studies. Last spring, she obtained a master’s degree at American University, where she studied international relations.

2019.05.03 / 18:57
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