December 11, 2018
Maria Butina appears in a police booking photograph released by the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office in Alexandria, Virginia, US, on Aug 18, 2018. Photo: Reuters
MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday (Dec 11) it was unclear to him why a Russian woman, Maria Butina, had been detained in the United States and accused of being a Russian agent because his intelligence chiefs had told him they knew nothing about her.
Butina is suspected of trying to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and influence US policy towards Russia and is expected to plead guilty this week following a deal between her lawyers and US prosecutors, according to court filings on Monday (Dec 10).
“…she risks 15 years in jail. For what?” asked Putin.”…I asked all the heads of our intelligence services what is going on. Nobody knows anything about her.”