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Butina’s isolation in US jail deteriorates her health, says Russia’s embassy

The Russian diplomatic mission that she be transferred "under humane conditions of imprisonment"

WASHINGTON, December 12. /TASS/. Isolation of Russian national Maria Butina, jailed in the United States, has an unfavorable impact on her health, Russia’s embassy to the US said on Wednesday.

Russian diplomats have visited Butina in jail.

"The regime of administrative segregation is still applied against our compatriot. Isolation for 22 hours a day has a negative effect on her health," the embassy said demanding from the jail authorities that Butina be transferred "under humane conditions of imprisonment."

"We will be insisting on her soonest release," the Russian diplomatic mission said.

A hearing is scheduled for December 13 and will be attended by Russian diplomats, they added.

Court hearing postponed

On Tuesday, the US Court for the District of Columbia said the hearing, during which Butina will change her plea and might plead guilty to one or several counts, would be held not on December 12, but a day later.

NBC television channel reported that Butina could agree to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy "to violate the law governing foreign agents operating in the United States, a felony that carries a five-year prison term." However, NBC stressed that Butina might face six months in prison and afterwards, could be deported to Russia. It cannot be ruled out that her sentencing might be zero months in prison.

In July the Russian woman pleaded not guilty in court.

Butina case

Maria Butina, a graduate student at American University in Washington, was 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 endeavors without registering as a foreign agent at the US Department of Justice.

During the July 21 phone conversation with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov demanded Butina’s speedy release, adding that the charges against her were trumped-up.