Putin: 'It's an Outrage'

Russian leader speaks out against Maria Butina's prison sentence
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2019 3:05 PM CDT
Putin: 'It's an Outrage'
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, Saturday, April 27, 2019.   (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

(Newser) – One person isn't too thrilled with a Russian operative's prison sentence: Vladimir Putin. "It's an outrage," he said Saturday of Maria Butina's 18-month sentence, per the Guardian. "It's not clear what she was convicted of or what crime she committed. I think it's a prime example of 'saving face.' They arrested her and put the girl in jail." Russia's leader said US authorities had "nothing on her" and "fixed her up," but Butina did plead guilty in December to conspiracy and acting as a foreign agent. Prosecutors say she broke US espionage laws by infiltrating the NRA and other organizations, per CBS News. Putin echoed his Foreign Ministry's opinion that Butina's punishment was "lawlessness," per NBC News. (Read more Vladimir Putin stories.)

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