WASHINGTON, March 28. /TASS/. Russian national Maria Butina, charged with conspiracy to act as a foreign agent in the US, will be sentenced on April 26, Judge Tanya Chutkan of the US district court in Washington said at a hearing on Thursday.
Butina’s defense attorney Robert Driscoll told TASS earlier he expected the court to sentence his client to a prison term equal to the time she had already spent behind bars.
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 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.
On December 13, Butina pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the US law governing foreign agents operating in the country and signed a plea bargain. The prosecution said at the time that the process of Butina’s cooperation with the investigation might take some time.