Maria Butina's lawyer Robert Driscoll discussed her release from a US prison and return to Russia while speaking with RT from Washington DC on Friday.
According to the lawyer, Butina's «case wasn't a spy case. There was no charge of espionage. There were no classified documents involved. There was not even any lobbying done by Maria. She couldn't have been processed under the foreign agent... Еще registration act because she didn't do any lobbying, she wasn't paid, she didn't work for the Russian government or the Russian Federation or work for any Russian.»
Commenting on Maria's release and her life afterwards, Driscoll noted that «prison life can be tough, but she's strong, and she's looking forward to going home and actually had a bit of optimism over the last few weeks as she can see her release date approaching.»
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called Butina's trial and sentence «a travesty of justice.»
According to Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov, Butina is expected to arrive in the Russian capital on Saturday.
Butina left prison in Tallahassee, Florida earlier on Friday and was then taken into custody by US immigration authorities before boarding an aircraft headed to Moscow in Miami, after having served 15 months of an 18-month sentence.
Butina founded the Russian gun rights organisation Right to Bear Arms in 2011 and was involved in the National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful gun rights lobby in US politics. She moved to the United States on a student visa in 2016 and was arrested in July 2018 on charges of being an unregistered foreign agent of the Russian Federation, for which she was convicted in April 2019.