08:24 GMT +317 July 2019
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    Maria Butina, left, is shown next to her attorney Robert Driscoll, before U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan

    Butina Scheduled to be Released in October, Sentence Reduced by 10 Days

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian national Maria Butina will be released from a Florida prison on 25 October, ten days before she was due to be deported to Russia for acting as an unregistered foreign agent.

    "Lawyers have finally filed an appeal and it was accepted. Most importantly, Maria’s jail term has been reduced by 10 days. She will be released on 25 October", Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the Russian parliament, wrote on Telegram.

    The US Federal Bureau of Prisons changed her release date to 25 October, 2019.

    A US federal judge in April sentenced Butina to 18 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to avoid a more lengthy term. The 30-year-old signed a plea deal after being held for prolonged periods in solitary confinement, requesting that the sentence include time served.

    Butina was arrested July 2018 in Washington DC on suspicion of working as an unregistered foreign agent for the Russian government. She initially denied the charges, but in December 2018 agreed to cooperate with the prosecution, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to act as a foreign agent.

    The Russian Embassy in the United States said in November 2018 that US authorities kept Butina in solitary confinement for 67 days, exceeding the limit recommended by the Nelson Mandela Rules for the treatment of prisoners.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry called Butina's sentence a disgrace to the US judicial system and accused the court of carrying out a political order. Russian President Vladimir Putin called Butina’s indictment unjustified, as she had not been tasked to perform any mission on behalf of the Russian government.

    Butina's lawyer, Robert Driscoll, said that his defendant would spend the remainder of her sentence in the Tallahassee, Florida, prison.


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