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Tormented into a guilty plea? Experts denounce US ‘miscarriage of justice’ in Butina case

Tormented into a guilty plea? Experts denounce US ‘miscarriage of justice’ in Butina case
Maria Butina’s only crime is that she is Russian, legal analysts told RT, attacking the US justice system for keeping her in solitary confinement until she admitted guilt to at least one of the many charges brought against her.

“This is an utter and total miscarriage of justice,” retired CIA agent and whistleblower John Kiriakou told RT after Butina pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to register with the Justice Department as an agent of the Russian government. “You can see clearly, this is not about justice, this is not about criminal activity. This is about making a political point. This is about identifying Russia and Russians as the enemy of the United States, and punishing them.”

Also on rt.com Maria Butina pleads guilty to US charge of conspiring to act as foreign agent

“We arrested this young woman because we need dirt on Trump and Russia. And she is Russian, political and pro-Trump,” US legal analyst Jennifer Breedon explained. “We are seeing [the Foreign Agents Registration Act - FARA] being used specifically as it relates to undermining the Donald Trump administration or conservatives really with anybody involved in Russia, friends with Russia or contacts.”

The Russian gun activist was subjected to “unbearable pressure” from US authorities, by being kept in solitary confinement in the Alexandria detention center outside Washington, and only allowed to take an hour-long break from her “cage” per day. John Kiriakou believes this borderline “torture” could have forced her to admit to a crime she might never even have committed.

“This woman is not an enemy combatant. So, unless news surfaces that there was some kind of skirmish or issue within the jail... it seems to go against US policy and laws as to who is forced into solitary confinement, just based solely on the charges that were lodged against her,” Breedon said.

Also on rt.com ‘Foreign agent’ Butina has no ties to Russian intel, was jailed for nothing – Putin

“You are kept in a steel cage 23 hours a day. And for what? Because she failed to fill out a form to send to the Justice Department?” Kiriakou pondered. “It is no wonder people in solitary confinement in the United States commit suicide every day.”

Butina, recently a student, was arrested in Washington in mid-July on accusations of secretly working for the Russian government, a claim firmly denied by the Kremlin. Butina now faces up to five years in jail for failure to comply with the FARA, unless she is extradited to Russia.

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