The Moscow City Court sentenced Paul Whelan to 16 years for the spying
The Moscow City Court convicted a citizen of the USA, Canada, Great Britain and Ireland Paul Whelan (pictured) in the case of espionage. Whelan himself called the trial "political" and "fictitious".
According to the verdict, Whelan will spend 16 years in a maximum security colony. Earlier, the prosecutor requested 18 years of imprisonment for the accused.
The convict does not agree with the prosecution and intends to appeal the strict sentence. He called the trial "political" and "fictitious".
- This is a political trial, a fictitious trial. We have proven my innocence, we have proven fabrications, now the task is to overcome the telephone justice”, - Interfax quotes Whelan's words.
According to defense representative Vladimir Zherebenkov, the question of the possibility of an exchange or petition for clemency will be resolved after the verdict comes into force.
It is also reported that Whelan will be in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center until this time.
The trial began in March 2020. All meetings on it were held behind closed doors, because the case materials contain the stamp "top secret".
Whelan was detained in Moscow on December 28, 2018. His lawyer reports that the investigation is convinced that the former U.S. Marine Whelan was engaged in espionage in favor of the US intelligence services, and that the information on the flash card seized from him contained state secrets.
The defense insists that Whelan believed that only personal data on past trips to the Russian Federation were recorded on the medium, but he did not manage to get acquainted with the contents. The convict’s brother claims that he arrived in Moscow at the invitation of the wedding of a colleague who married a Russian citizen.
The telegram channel Mash reports, referring to Zherebenkov, that the possibility of exchanging Whelan for Buta or Yaroshenko is currently being considered.
Let us recall that earlier the treason was accused of the president of the Arctic Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, Valery Mitko. The FSB suspects him of spying for China. The scientist strongly disagrees with the prosecution.