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Butina’s attorneys, prosecutors lodge joint motion for change-of-plea hearing

The sides requested to hold the hearing "preferably this week"

WASHINGTON, December 10. /TASS/. Attorneys for Maria Butina, arrested in the US, and federal prosecutors filed a joint motion on Monday, requesting a change-of-plea hearing, according to a court filing seen by a TASS correspondent.

Butina’s attorneys and prosecutors "file this joint motion to set a change-of-plea hearing," which means that she can plead guilty to one or several charges. The parties requested a hearing "at the Court’s earliest convenience," preferably as soon as this week, namely on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.

"The parties have resolved this matter (on a change of plea - TASS), and the Defendant Maria Butina remains in custody," reads the document signed by her attorneys and prosecutors.

Butina case

Maria Butina, who studied at American University in Washington, had been arrested on July 15 ahead of the Helsinki summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump. The Russian gun rights activist is facing charges of conspiracy for conducting activities in the interests of a foreign state. Investigators claim that she was engaged in these activities without registering as a foreign agent at the US Department of Justice.

During a July 21 phone conversation with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded a speedy release for Butina, having deemed the charges against her as fabricated.