March 6, 2021

The US embassy denounces that Whelan's health in Russian prison has worsened

The US embassy denounces that Whelan's health in Russian prison has worsened



The state of health of the American citizen Paul Whelan, arrested in Russia five months ago on charges of espionage, has worsened, reported the US embassy in Moscow today.

"Paul Whelan receives basic medical care, but his condition requires more than what can be provided in a pretrial detention center," says a message from the diplomatic mission posted on Twitter.

The embassy adds that Whelan's health "has deteriorated," while the Russian side refuses to have the detainee examined by a visiting doctor.

Whelan was arrested on December 28 by agents of the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB, former KGB) in a hotel in Moscow for alleged "espionage activities" in favor of the USA, crime for which he can be sentenced to up to 20 years of jail.

The defendant allegedly received from an acquaintance a USB stick that "contained the complete list of Russian secret service workers".

According to his family, Whelan traveled to Moscow to attend a wedding. His lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, maintains that the American hoped to receive materials on tourist trips to Russia on a device, such as photographs or videos and that he does not know where the secret information came from on the memory stick.

The detainee believes that he has fallen into a trap and that his acquaintance has acted on behalf of the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB, former KGB) when he gave him secret information.

Last June a Moscow court extended the remand of Whelan, a former US Marine, until August 29.

The Russian Justice rejected an appeal filed by the defense of the American, who also has Canadian, British and Irish citizenship, to be placed under house arrest or released on bail until the beginning of the trial.

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