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American accused of spying in Russia says he's being threatened

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By means of Alan Kaytukov and Minyvonne Burke

MOSCOW — An ex-U.S. Marine held in Russia on suspicion of spying on Friday accused a safety carrier investigator of subjecting him to threats and requested a court docket to have the person got rid of from his case, the TASS information company reported.

Paul Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, was once detained in a Moscow resort room on Dec. 28 and accused of espionage, a price he denies. If discovered in charge, he faces as much as 20 years in prison.

“I name for FSB (safety carrier) investigator captain Alexei Khizhnyak to be known as off (the case). He’s insulting my dignity and dangerous my lifestyles,” Whelan was once quoted as telling the Moscow court docket.

His feedback seem more likely to worsen U.S.-Russia family members already strained over a variety of problems, together with the battle in Syria, financial sanctions and the detention of any other U.S. citizen, distinguished investor Michael Calvey, who’s underneath space arrest in Moscow on embezzlement fees.

Whelan was once showing at a listening to convened to come to a decision whether or not to elongate his his detention. The court docket dominated on Tuesday to increase his detention by means of 3 months.

“Lengthen the accused Whelan a safety measure within the type of detention for 3 months, till August 29, 2019,” a pass judgement on stated.

The pass judgement on instructed Whelan he simplest had the appropriate underneath Russian regulation to request the substitute of court docket or prosecuting officers, however no longer an investigator.

“I remember the fact that, however what am I meant to do if my rights are being violated,” Whelan was once quoted as announcing.

Michael Yoder, senior counselor of the U.S. Embassy Moscow, stated he was once “dissatisfied” by means of the court docket’s ruling.

“5 months have handed for the reason that day of his arrest. There may be nonetheless no proof of his illegal actions. The query arises why Paul Whelan continues to be within the detention middle if there’s no proof,” he stated. “It could be human to let him cross house.”

The U.S. embassy’s press secretary, Andrea Kalan, stated, “We urge Russian government to permit our consular officials to straight away meet with Paul Whelan in order that we will be able to at once communicate to him about his protection and situation.”

The detainee’s brother, David Whelan, stated on MSNBC that Paul was once in Russia for a chum’s wedding ceremony however by no means made it to the rite. David stated his circle of relatives realized his brother have been detained from on-line information experiences.

In a chain of tweets on Friday, David Whelan criticized the court docket’s determination to stay his brother detained.

“#PaulWhelan will probably be wrongfully detained for any other three months. Simply extra Russian felony theater courtesy of the FSB,” one tweet learn. “Those hearings don’t seem to be about justice or info.”

Any other tweet learn, partially: “#PaulWhelan’s persisted detention is ready coercion. The FSB has remoted him to power a confession.”

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