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By Tom Winter
A lawyer for the alleged Russian agent Maria Butina said that he wanted his client transferred to the prison population because she has been in solitary confinement and solitary confinement since her arrest in July.
Butina is accused of having acted as Russia's agent in the Washington, DC area, and faces charges of conspiracy and non-registration as a foreign agent.
She was arrested and charged in July for allegedly conspiring with her former boss to infiltrate politically powerful organizations in the United States, including the NRA, and to advance the Moscow program.
Her lawyer, Robert Driscoll, told the court Tuesday that she had not broken any rules in the Alexandria detention center in Virginia. with his fellow inmates and did not create any incident. "
He added that Butina had been transferred to pretrial isolation on 21 November under false pretense.
Driscoll said the prison staff had told him that they had decided to isolate Butina after her dismissal of another detainee by her lawyer. The chief and the captain of the institution, "then resorted to the decision" for his safety ", knowing that the administrative separation prohibited an appeal internally," said the lawyer.
The detention center where Butina is detained refused to comment to NBC News and asked questions to the U.S Marshals service, who did not immediately respond to emails requesting information.
Federal prosecutors will have to respond to the request of Butina's lawyer before a judge decides whether she should be housed with the rest of the prison population or whether she should remain isolated.
Butina's lawyers began negotiations with federal prosecutors earlier this month, according to a court document.
His lawyers and federal prosecutors then asked to postpone the next hearing as they are currently "in negotiations for a potential settlement of this case", stating that they were working on the conclusion of an agreement on advocacy.
Butina arrived in the United States in August 2016 with a student visa. Previously, she was the special assistant of a Kremlin friend whose description in court documents corresponds to that of Alexander Torshin, former Russian senator and deputy director of the Russian central bank close to the Russian president Vladimir Poutine.
Torshin was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in April 2018 with several other Russian oligarchs and was accused of links to organized crime, as previously reported by NBC News.
In a statement issued by his lawyer, Robert Driscoll, after his arrest, Butina denied being a Russian agent. Driscoll called an "A" student from the American University who "has been cooperating for months with various government entities regarding public allegations related to his contacts with various American and Russian people."
He added that she had testified in camera before the Senate Committee on Intelligence and had offered to speak with Special Advocate Robert Mueller, who was investigating Russia's interference. in the 2016 presidential election.
Butina was indicted by the US Attorney's Office in Washington, DC, unrelated to Mueller's investigation.
The Russian government has firmly denied that Butina has links to the conduct of the official government.