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Possible Resolution Appears Near in Russian Agent Case

A woman accused of being a secret agent for the Russian government appears to be coming closer to a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors or other resolution of her criminal case.

By MICHAEL BALSAMO,

WASHINGTON (AP) — A woman accused of being a secret agent for the Russian government appears to be coming closer to a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors or other resolution of her criminal case.

Court documents filed Wednesday say Maria Butina's lawyers and federal prosecutors "remain optimistic about a pretrial resolution" of her case. A hearing is scheduled for next month.

The 30-year-old gun-rights activist is accused of relaying intelligence on American officials and political organizations to a Russian government official. She's pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Russia.

Butina has denied any wrongdoing and mounted an aggressive defense since she was jailed in July.

Her lawyer has said Butina is a student interested in American politics and in better U.S.-Russian relations.

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