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Maria Butina, Suspected Secret Agent, Was in Touch With Russian Intelligence, Prosecutors Say

Maria Butina, Suspected Secret Agent, Was in Touch With Russian Intelligence, Prosecutors Say


WASHINGTON — A woman charged with secretly acting on behalf of Russia was working as a covert agent in the United States and was recently in contact with a suspected Russian intelligence official, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The new details about the woman, Maria Butina, 29, were disclosed by prosecutors in a court filing arguing that she should be held without bond because she was a flight risk. “The defendant is considered to be on par with other covert Russian agents,” prosecutors said.

The authorities disclosed that she was moving money out of the country, had her boxes packed and had terminated her lease.

Ms. Butina was arrested on Sunday in Washington and accused of being an unregistered foreign agent of Russia. She was scheduled to appear in federal court on Wednesday afternoon for a detention hearing.



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