Paul Whelan: Ex-US marine alleges abuse in Russia spy case

Former US Marine Paul Whelan stands inside a defendants' cage as he attends a court hearing regarding the extension of his detentionSymbol copyright

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Mr Whelan was once arrested in Moscow on 28 December after taking a gaggle of marriage ceremony visitors on a excursion of the Kremlin museums

A former US marine imprisoned in Russia on suspicion of spying has complained of “abuses and harassment” and says he’s a “sufferer of political kidnap”.

Mr Whelan – a citizen of america, UK, Canada and Eire – was once arrested in past due December, accused of espionage.

The 48-year-old denies the costs and instructed a courtroom on Friday that he were subjected to threats and abuse via a safety carrier investigator.

The feedback got here as his pre-trial custody was once prolonged till 29 August.

Mr Whelan instructed the courtroom that there was once “completely no legitimacy” to the case towards him, describing it as retaliation for US sanctions.

If discovered responsible, he faces as much as 20 years in jail.

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He stated he had now not showered in two weeks, was once not able to get admission to scientific or dental remedy and were denied get admission to to books and letters despatched to him months in the past.

“I have been threatened. My private protection has been threatened. There are abuses and harassment that I’m repeatedly subjected to,” he stated.

The courtroom listening to on Friday was once held at the back of closed doorways however guests have been accepted to wait the outlet and the studying of the ruling.

An legit at america embassy in Moscow stated Washington was once extraordinarily involved via Mr Whelan’s claims.

The feedback marked a shift in tone from earlier statements via the previous marine, who instructed the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford in February that he was once “keeping up smartly” after two months in custody however may just now not communicate publicly in regards to the rate towards him for concern of constructing his scenario worse.

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Media captionIn February Paul Whelan spoke to the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford

Within the court docket

Sarah Rainsford, BBC Information, Moscow

Paul Whelan is indignant and he is not hiding it. Status inside of a steel cage in courtroom the previous US marine declared that his detention in Moscow and the rate of espionage was once a political kidnap, with not anything official about it.

Moments later he instructed the pass judgement on he sought after to bitch about his interrogator from Russia’s FSB safety carrier, announcing “his movements, abuse, harassment and the threats on my lifestyles are unprofessional and will have to now not be tolerated”. The pass judgement on neglected him.

Those are via some distance the most powerful feedback Mr Whelan has ever made in his case. He is been held now for 5 months in an FSB jail, accused of receiving Russian state secrets and techniques on a flash pressure from a pal. He denies the rate, announcing he idea the pressure contained pictures from a vacationer shuttle.

Previous he had stated he sought after to make a commentary to Donald Trump and to america Congress, however his masked FSB guards instructed him he was once forbidden to talk.

The United States ambassador in Moscow has stated no proof has been introduced on this case in 5 months and referred to as on Russia to ‘surrender taking part in video games’

The listening to itself is closed – as an espionage case – and labelled most sensible secret.

Why was once he arrested?

Mr Whelan arrived in Russia on 22 December to wait a marriage and had deliberate to discuss with St Petersburg along with Moscow ahead of flying house on 6 January, his brother instructed the BBC.

He was once arrested in Moscow on 28 December after taking a gaggle of marriage ceremony visitors on a excursion of the Kremlin museums.

Russia’s FSB state safety company stated he was once detained “all through an act of espionage”.

Mr Whelan’s Russian legal professional has stated the arrest was once made after he was once unwittingly passed a reminiscence stick containing state secrets and techniques.

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Media captionDavid Whelan feedback on his brother’s arrest via Russian government

Who’s he?

Mr Whelan was once born in Canada to British folks however moved to america as a kid. He’s recently director of world safety for Michigan-based automobile parts provider BorgWarner.

His brother has stated Mr Whelan were visiting Russia for trade and enjoyment since 2007.

Mr Whelan joined the Marine Reserves in 1994 and rose to the rank of team of workers sergeant in 2004. He served in Iraq for a number of months in 2004 and 2006.

He was once convicted in a 2008 courtroom martial on fees associated with larceny and gained a bad-conduct discharge. Main points of the costs don’t seem to be public.

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