BARNAUL, December 13. /TASS/. Russian national Maria Butina, arrested in the United States on charges of conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent, has not told her family about any health issues stemming from isolation, Maria’s father Valery Butin told TASS on Thursday.
Russian diplomats earlier visited Butina in prison. "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 Russian embassy said in a statement, adding that diplomats would attend the December 13 plea hearing. The embassy also demanded that "Butina be transferred under humane conditions of imprisonment."
"Judging by her voice, I can say that she sounds confident, I cannot say anything about health issues. She hasn’t mentioned any. She says everything is fine and she is confident of the stance her lawyers will present," Butin said.
According to Maria’s father, she remains in an individual cell where she was moved in November. She is only allowed to go outside for two hours a day, which is when she can talk to her family on the phone.
According to media reports, the next hearing on the Butina case has been rescheduled for December 13. NBC said that Butina had agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with federal prosecutors. Butina is expected 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."
"The estimated sentencing guideline range is from zero to six months in prison. As a noncitizen, she would face deportation after serving any prison sentence," NBC said.
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 July 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov demanded in a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo that Butina be released as soon as possible. He also slammed all charges brought against her as fabricated.