Moscow / Washington, May 27 – Whelan’s lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, told the RIA news agency that the defense of Paul Whelan, convicted in Russia for espionage, after his brother’s reports on Russian imprisonment, claims that he has not received complaints from Americans, and believes that in the United States they are “always escalating”. Novosti.
Paul Whelan’s brother, David, said in a press release that the prisoner had complained about Russian prison staff. He claims that on Friday, two IK-17 employees, who did not disclose their names, snatched Whelan’s warm clothes – “earmuffs and two woolen jackets”, scattering personal letters and stomping clean clothes with “mud-stained” shoes. It asks the Prison Service and the Public Prosecutor to “investigate such behaviour”, and the State Department is required to ensure the “personal safety” of the convict. In addition, David Whelan added that he sent his brother’s letter to the US State Department “in order for them to raise the issue with their Russian colleagues.”
The United States is negotiating with the Russian Federation on the return to their homeland of Paul Whelan, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison, and journalist Ivan Gershkovich, also accused of espionage. The US authorities unsuccessfully sought to include Whelan in the recent deal with Russia, but had to make do with basketball player Brittney Grenier, who returned to her homeland in exchange for Russian Victor Bout.
Whelan was detained in Moscow on December 28, 2018, as reported by the FSB, during an espionage operation. The defense claims that the American was a victim of provocation: he was given a flash card, on which he allegedly expected to see a photo from a tourist trip to Sergiev Posad. The accused himself said in the last word that he was not involved in espionage. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison and served his sentence in a colony in Mordovia.