Russian National Butina Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy Against US
19:39 13.12.2018(updated 21:15 13.12.2018)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Russian national Maria Butina has pleaded guilty in US court on Thursday to one count of conspiracy against the United States.
Butina said "yes" when asked if she knowingly engaged in a conspiracy against the United States.
According to the US Judge Tanya Chutkan, who accepted the guilty plea, Butinab faces a maximum of 5 years in prison and $250,000 fine. The judge also noted that she may be deported from the country, stressing, however, that the decision would be made by other US agencies.
Commenting on the case, chairman of the Russian lower house's international affairs committee Leonid Slutsky called it an example of "political inquisition".
"The vaunted American justice in Butina's case is an example of modern political inquisition. All charges were fabricated, the entire process is clearly politicized, starting with the fact that she was detained on the eve of the meeting of the Russian and US presidents in Helsinki, and it was hardly a coincidence", Slutsky told reporters, adding that Russia should still seek Butina's return from the United States.
The next hearing on the case to take place on 12th of February.
The news comes a few days after the US media reported that Butina had agreed to cooperate with US authorities as part of a deal made with prosecutors.
Butina, arrested in mid-July, previously pleaded "not guilty" to charges of acting as a foreign agent and conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation in the United States. She was residing in the country on a student visa while completing a masters degree in international relations at American University in Washington, DC.
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