Vladimir Putin slams US sentencing of Russian spy agent Maria Butina as ‘outrage’, ‘arbitrary’

Russian President Vladimir Putin has on Saturday slammed the US court for sentencing a spy agent of Russia, Maria Butina, to 18 months in prison under conspiracy charges as an outrage and arbitrary.

According to ANI news reports, while addressing a conference in China’s capital Beijing, the president said the sentence resembled attempts by the United States judicial officials and law enforcement to save face.

Putin said, “It’s an outrage,” further adding, “It is, in fact, arbitrary. It’s not clear what she was convicted of or what crime she committed.”

He was quoted by Al-Jazeera news agency as saying, “They arrested her and put the girl in jail. But there was nothing on her, so, in order not to look totally stupid, they gave her, fixed up her, with an 18-month sentence to show that she was guilty of something.”

Putin’s remarks have come shortly a day after a Columbian court the Russian spy agent was given 18-month sentence in prison followed by deportation.

A US federal court has on Friday sentenced Butina to serve 18 months in prison, shortly after she pleaded guilty for allegedly infiltrating US conservative political activists and promoting Moscow’s interests before and after the US 2016 presidential election.

She has been incarcerated since her first arrest last year in July and will also receive credit for serving nine months in prison previously. After the completion of her sentence, she will be moved to Russia.

While prosecutors agreed Butina was not an agent from Russia in a traditional sense, though they argued her actions could have jeopardized the national security of America.

 

Also read: US court sentence Russian spy agent to 18 months in prison for espionage

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