BARNAUL, August 26. /TASS/. Russian citizen Maria Butina, who was arrested in the United States earlier this summer, described her prison conditions as acceptable, her father Valery Butin told TASS.
"[She said by phone that her] prison conditions are acceptable, she gets normal food, the only difficulty is her daily regimen," he said. "Due to administrative segregation that had been imposed on her, she has to stay awake at night. In other words, she is allowed to make phone calls at about 1:00 a.m. Washington time (8:00 Moscow time)."
Butina’s defense insists that she be placed under house arrest with electronic monitoring of her whereabouts. The date of court hearings on placing the Russian citizen under house arrest has not yet been set, her attorney Robert Driscoll told TASS on Friday.
Valery Butin said he had no direct contact with the attorney. He added that his daughter will stay in the United States until she proves her innocence.
"This is what she planned to do from the very beginning: she is totally sure that she is not guilty, that she has not violated the US legislation in any form. She will not leave until she proves it," he said.
Maria Butina, 29, was arrested in Washington DC on July 15. The Russian gun rights activist faces charges of conspiracy for conducting activities in the interests of a foreign state. According to the US Department of Justice, she is 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." The next court hearing in Butina’s case is scheduled for September 10.
In a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on July 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov demanded Butina’s early release from custody stressing that charges against her were trumped-up. For her part, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow would continue work to protect Butina’s rights and legitimate interests.