Russia frees model who claimed to have evidence of Trump-Putin secrets: Report

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jan 22, 2019, 08:43 PM(IST)

File photo of Belarusian model Anastasia Vashukevich. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Anastasia Vashukevich and three others were detained upon arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on Thursday after being deported from Thailand.

A model from Belarus who claimed to have evidence of Russian interference in US President Donald Trump's election was freed from Russian police custody on Tuesday but remains a suspect in an unrelated criminal case, Reuters reported quoting TASS news agency.

Anastasia Vashukevich and three others were detained upon arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on Thursday after being deported from Thailand.

Russian authorities have said they suspect her of forcing women into prostitution, a charge that carries a jail sentence of up to three years.

Vashukevich, who is also known as Nastya Rybka, became subject of world attention last February when she claimed that she had hours of audio recordings that could shed light on links between Russian officials and Trump's election in 2016.

Also read: Russian model claims 'Putin's henchmen' tried to kill her

She offered to release the recordings in exchange for asylum in the United States but never produced evidence to substantiate her claim and later said she had no plans to release anything.

Vashukevich has said that she has the recordings through an association with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Deripaska's representatives have accused her of fabrication and said she was never his mistress.

Deripaska is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and is a onetime associate of Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow sought to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election to boost Trump's chances of winning. Russia has denied meddling and Trump has said no collusion took place.

(With inputs from agencies)

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