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US prosecutors recommend 18-month jail term for Butina

April 20, 6:49 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Earlier on Friday, the Russian citizen’s defense team requested sentencing her to a prison term that does not exceed the time she had already spent in jail

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Maria Butina

Maria Butina

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

WASHINGTON, April 20. /TASS/. US prosecutors have recommended a judge in Washington to sentence Russian citizen Maria Butina to 18 months in prison, according to documents submitted to the court.

"The government’s recommended sentence of 24 months (prior to factoring in cooperation), with a downward departure to 18 months, based on substantial assistance to law enforcement, is well within the range of sentences imposed by courts for similar conduct," the document reads.

Earlier on Friday, the Russian citizen’s defense team requested sentencing her to a prison term that does not exceed the time she had already spent in jail.

The final decision will be made by Judge Tanya Chutkan. The sentencing of Butina, who has already spent nine months behind bars, is scheduled for April 26.

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 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.

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