- Title: Russian court extends detention of former U.S. marine for three months
- Date: 24th December 2019
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (DECEMBER 24, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MOSCOW CITY COURT WHELAN'S LAWYER, VLADIMIR ZHEREBENKOV, SPEAKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PAUL WHELAN'S LAWYER, VLADIMIR ZHEREBENKOV, SAYING: "We think that this decision is unfounded and illegal. Today the judge - to our surprise - announced the full decision, you have all heard (that the case) was opened by an officer, extended by an officer. But this provision does not include neither any grounds, nor any proof of Paul's guilt. Everything is very vague, non-specific and apparently random. We will appeal this decision in a higher court." MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PAUL WHELAN'S LAWYER, VLADIMIR ZHEREBENKOV, SAYING: "He is not in a good mood. He was hoping that one year is a serious enough jail term. And as the city court only extends it (beyond one year) in exceptional cases, he was hoping that this exception would not apply to him and that he would be placed under house arrest in the Hotel Metropol as we asked. But unfortunately the court declined our request." LAWYER SPEAKING TO MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PAUL WHELAN'S LAWYER, VLADIMIR ZHEREBENKOV, SAYING: "Unfortunately our courts are prone to prosecutorial bias. And it is hard to expect any other decision. Especially given that the process has turned a bit political taking into consideration the relations between Russia and the U.S." VARIOUS OF MOSCOW CITY COURT
- Embargoed: 7th January 2020 12:15
- Keywords: Moscow court Paul Whelan U.S.-Russian relations spy case
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA001BBC51S7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: SEE EDIT 1097-RUSSIA-USA/WHELAN FOR COMMENTS BY DEPUTY CHIEF OF THE U.S. MISSION ON WHELAN AS WELL AS SHOTS OF U.S., U.K., IRELAND AND CANADA REPRESENTATIVES AT PRISON WHERE WHELAN IS HELD
A Moscow court on Tuesday (December 24) extended the detention of the former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan until March 29 on espionage charges, Interfax news agency reported.
Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained in December 2018 and accused of spying.
Deputy Chief of Mission Bart Gorman last week called for Russia to free Whelan.
Whelan was detained by agents from Russia's Federal Security Service in a Moscow hotel room on Dec. 28 last year.
Moscow says he was caught with a computer flash drive containing classified information. Whelan says he was set up in a sting and had thought the drive, given to him by a Russian acquaintance, contained holiday photos.
He has been held in pre-trial detention while investigators look into his case.
(Production: Gennady Novik, Maria Vasilyeva)
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