MADRID, Oct. 24 (EUROPE PRESS) –
A court in the Lefortovo district in Moscow has decided Thursday to extend the arrest of Paul Whelan, a former US Marine detained in Russia as a spy suspect, Russian news agency Sputnik reported.
“The court has resolved to accept the request of the investigation to extend the wheeled accused to the precautionary arrest measure for two months, until December 29,” explained judge Sergei Riabtsev, in charge of the process.
At the court hearing, Whelan has requested that the judge and the investigator be removed from the case, a petition that has been rejected by the court. “They accuse me of something I did not do. The Russian authorities say they captured an agent 007 while he was serving his job but in reality I am a Mister Bean on vacation,” said the exmarine, before reiterating that his rights are not being respected. .
Whelan, 49, entered Russia with a US passport, although he also has the nationality of the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. According to the data presented to the Moscow court, the former US Marine visited Russia several times since 2007.
The American manufacturer of spare parts for cars BorgWarner has confirmed that Whelan is responsible for global security. The Russian Federal Police (FSB) reported the arrest of Whelan at the end of 2018 and justified the arrest with the accusation that he was conducting espionage, a crime that in Russia is punishable by sentences of ten to 20 years in jail.
Whelan has rejected the charges against him and stressed that he traveled to Russia to attend a friend's wedding, a version that his family has reiterated.