20:00 GMT19 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian national Maria Butina, jailed in the United States on charges of being an unregistered foreign agent, might be unable to fund lawyers, her father said.

    "We have just faced another grave problem which is the lack of funding for defense. Big money, several million rubles, is required to fund further work of the lawyers. The worst thing that might happen is the lawyers scraping their work," Valery Butin said in an interview with the Russian Izvestiya newspaper.

    The situation around Butina was exacerbated by the claims about the Russian national’s alleged willingness to plead guilty in exchange for obtaining the US citizenship, her father added.

    "This is not true. She will not resort to striking any plea agreement which will make her plead guilty for the crimes she had not committed," Butina’s father pointed out.

    In late November, Bloomberg reported citing Washington federal court that Butina was close to striking a deal with the prosecution. Butina's father then told the RT broadcaster that his daughter did not contact him regarding the issue, suggesting that she could be pressurized by the US authorities into accepting a deal.

    READ MORE: 'US Authorities Want to Break Her' — Butina's Father Asks Putin for Help

    Butina, a recent student and a political activist, was arrested in Washington, DC in mid-July on suspicions of acting as an agent for a foreign government. She has denied the accusations. Butina, who faces up to 15 years in jail, is now being held in a prison in the US city of Alexandria, Virginia.

    In September, Butina’s sister Marina said that the woman’s family had launched a fund in a bid to collect some financial aid for the prisoner's defense.

    Russian authorities have slammed the US government for Butina's arrest, insisting that the charges against her were groundless. The Russian Foreign Ministry has called Butina's ongoing detention unacceptable and called the accusations trumped-up.

    READ MORE: Stranger Tries to File Court Motion in Butina Case on Her Behalf — Lawyer


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    lawyer, plea deal, funding, defense, Maria Butina, US, Russia
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