Russian Agent Maria Butina Returns To Moscow After U.S. Deportation | TIME
Maria Butina’s lawyer said that his client could soon be deported to Russia
Robert Driscoll hopes the Russian woman will be deported to her homeland in the next few weeks
The lawyer of Maria Butina, a Russian woman accused by the federal prosecutor’s office of illegally lobbying for the interests of a foreign state, told the Russian news agency TASS that his client’s passport was handed over to the American immigration authorities to expedite Butina’s expected deportation to her homeland..
In an interview with TASS, lawyer Robert Driscoll said that he hoped to receive a court verdict in the Butina case within two to six weeks from the date of the next hearing. It is scheduled for February 26.
“We hope that she will be sentenced, equivalent to the time she has already served, and that soon after that she will be released and deported,” Driscoll quoted TASS as saying.
Photo of Maria Butina released by police in Virginia shortly after her arrest, July 2018
Even in the event of a similar sentence, which should expedite Butina’s immediate release, Driscoll added that he is still in talks with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about the procedure for the deportation of a convicted criminal..
According to the terms of the deal concluded by Butina with the prosecution, the authorities have the right to keep her in custody until the end of the Russian woman’s cooperation with the investigation..
“We think her cooperation has already ended, but we need to get the appropriate confirmation from the authorities. It depends on the length of time they need, as well as on the presence of other cases where the authorities may need her testimony, “Driscoll said..
He expressed the hope that Butina will be sent from prison in Virginia to Russia in less than a week.
“We are working on it. ICE has her (Butina’s) passport. We are trying to do everything to make it happen as soon as possible, ”added the lawyer.
Butina, who pleaded guilty in December to participation in a conspiracy to illegally advance Russia’s interests, has been in prison for several months. Driscoll added that following the conclusion of the prosecution deal in December, his client was transferred to a lightweight regime. Now Butina has the opportunity to visit the gym and the prison temple, go to the common dining room with other prisoners and watch TV once or twice a week.
In January, Butina’s relatives said in an interview with the Voice of America that they are looking forward to her return to her homeland, to the Russian Barnaul..