Prosecutors: Maria Butina Tried to Trade Sex for Access

Feds lay out more allegations against accused Russian spy
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2018 1:43 PM CDT
In this photo taken on Sunday, April 21, 2013, Maria Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization in Russia, speaks to a crowd during a rally in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow,...   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The US government on Wednesday continued to flesh out its case against the 29-year-old Siberian woman accused of spying for Russia, and its most recently revealed allegations include offers of sex and contacts with the spy agency that succeeded the KGB. Prosecutors laid out the allegations in documents filed Wednesday in court in an attempt to have Maria Butina detained until her trial; a judge on Wednesday afternoon denied her bail, the Huffington Post reports. Characterizing her as an "extreme" flight risk, the documents noted she has access to money and cited surveillance video that indicated she was actually planning to leave. The AP reports her apartment lease is up at the end of the month and her belongings were already boxed at the time of her arrest. More:

  • The Anna Chapman reference: The FBI uncovered Twitter communications between Butina and a Russian official identified by NPR and CNN as Alexander Torshin, whom the US sanctioned in April. NPR reports he was allegedly her point of contact within the Russian government. One alleged message from Torshin sent in March 2017: "You have upstaged Anna Chapman. She poses with toy pistols while you are being published with real ones."

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