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The Russian judiciary sentenced former U.S. Navy Paul Whelan to 16 years in prison for spying

June 15, 2020

A Russian court sentenced former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who is accused of allegedly obtaining classified information for espionage, to 16 years in prison in a new chapter of a case that brought new political impetus between Moscow and Washington.

The prosecution ordered Whelan to 18 years in prison, but the judge finally dictated two years less, ie 16 years, to be spent in a maximum security prison. The accused, who has defended his innocence at all times, has announced that he will appeal the verdict, the Sputnik agency said.

Whelan, who holds a U.S., Canadian, and British passport, was arrested by Federal Security Service agents in a Moscow hotel in December 2018. According to the Russian intelligence agency, an external storage device containing classified information was found.

The Russian judiciary sentenced former U.S. Navy Paul Whelan to 16 years in prison for spyingThe Russian judiciary sentenced former U.S. Navy Paul Whelan to 16 years in prison for spying

The 50-year-old former U.S. Navy claims he was founded. According to his version, the “Pendrive” was given to him by a Russian acquaintance and he believed that it contained vacation photos.

Two weeks ago, he was operated on in an “emergency operation” for an abdominal fracture, the US embassy said. “The authorities waited until his condition was extreme to provide medical care,” said the embassy, ​​whose spokeswoman Rebecca Ross reminded the former Navy that “without evidence of a crime” would be arrested.