Butina Prosecutors Seek Court Order to Protect Secret Evidence

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. prosecutors are trying to protect millions of pages of evidence that will be shared with accused Russian operative and gun-rights advocate Maria Butina from getting into the hands of unspecified third parties.

In a court filing Wednesday, the U.S. asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington for a so-called protective order requiring Butina’s lawyers to create a “wall” within its electronic storage facilities and use encryption for thumb drives to prevent unauthorized access to the files.

The government is required to share evidence and other materials with Butina as part of the discovery process to help her prepare a defense. The U.S. said the request for a protective order isn’t opposed by the defense.

Butina has been in U.S. custody since her arrest on July 15. Prosecutors said she had ties to Russia’s intelligence services and oligarchs who could offer her safe harbor. Butina pleaded not guilty. The Russian Foreign Ministry has called her a political prisoner.

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