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Maria Butina’s lawyer says no petition from her defense on dropping charges

August 04, 4:13 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Robert Neil Driscoll said the situation was nothing out of the ordinary and someone had tried to interfere but the judge had rejected the petition

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Maria Butina

Maria Butina

© EPA-EFE/Press Service of Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation

WASHINGTON, August 4. /TASS/. Lawyers defending the Russian citizen Maria Butina, arrested last month on charges of acting as an undeclared Russian agent, did not file a petition for dropping the charges against her that was turned down by a US court on Friday, attorney Robert Neil Driscoll told TASS.

He said the situation was nothing out of the ordinary and someone had tried to interfere but the judge had rejected the petition.

Driscoll made it clear the defense did not have anything to do with the petition but he did not explain who might have sent the document that, according to the court, was rejected on August 3.

The US authorities accuse Butina, 29, of conspiracy for conducting activity in the interests of a foreign state on the territory of the US. Specifically, they claim she acted as an agent without notifying the Department of Justice about it.

Butina was arrested in Washington on July 15 and the court decided to put her to custody until the hearings scheduled for September 10.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a telephone conversation with the US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, on July 21, in the course of which he demanded the arrestee’s earliest possible release from custody. He said the charges against her were forged.

Butina, an active gun rights advocate, came to the US on a student visa to study international law. She received a master’s degree from the American University in Washington this spring.

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