Wednesday 19 June 2019

Woman had ties to Russian security agency, US prosecutors say

Maria Butina is accused of acting under the direction of a Kremlin official.

Maria Butina, pictured in 2013 (AP)
Maria Butina, pictured in 2013 (AP)

By Chad Day and Eric Tucker

A 29-year-old woman accused of being a covert Russian agent was “likely” in contact with operatives of the successor agency to the KGB while she lived in the US.

The claim emerged in court papers filed by prosecutors in Washington in the case of Maria Butina.

Prosecutors claim Butina had contact information for people who were allegedly employees of Russia’s Federal Security Services.

Court papers show part of the criminal complaint against Maria Butina (AP)

The FBI also observed her dining privately with a Russian diplomat suspected of being an intelligence operative in the weeks before the diplomat’s departure from the US last March.

The government is arguing that Butina poses a flight risk and should remain in custody while she awaits trial.

She faces charges of acting as an unregistered agent in the US at the direction of a Kremlin official.

Press Association

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