Saturday, April 27, 2019

Russian Foreign Ministry slams 'politically motivated' Butina verdict as a 'shameful stain' on US justice



The Russian Foreign Ministry called the 18-month prison sentence for student Maria Butina a "politically motivated" decision "in the spirit of McCarthyism," adding that her only crime was being a Russian citizen in the US. "From the moment of her arrest we have pointed out that the accusations against her of attempting to influence internal American political processes were completely contrived and fabricated," the ministry said in a statement on Friday. "Her confession, which was coerced through harsh imprisonment conditions and threats of a lengthy sentence, changes nothing." Butina was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison and deportation from the US by a federal judge in Washington, DC. She was arrested by the FBI in June last year and charged with being an unregistered foreign agent. The nine months she has already spent in jail - much of it in solitary confinement - will count towards her sentence.