US Ambassador slams Russia after they convict Paul Whelan
John Sullivan named &# 171; shameful&# 187; treatment of an American spying suspect
New U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan has called on Moscow to release former Marine Paul Whelan, accused of espionage, saying Russian authorities have failed to provide convincing evidence of his guilt..
A few days after taking office, Sullivan accused the Russian authorities of “maltreating” Whelan, who was arrested at a Moscow hotel on December 28, 2018 on suspicion of espionage..
Whelan, 49, who is a citizen of the United States, Great Britain, Canada and Ireland, does not admit his guilt. During his court hearings last year, he complained of ill-treatment.
The Whelan case, which faces up to 20 years in prison if confessed, has exacerbated tensions between Russia and the United States, already complicated by disagreements over issues ranging from conflicts in Ukraine and Syria to allegations of election interference..
Sullivan visited Whelan at the Lefortovo Detention Center on Thursday. This is one of the first public appearances of the new ambassador since he presented his credentials to the Russian Foreign Ministry on January 21..
“It’s time for this nightmare to end and for Paul to return home,” Sullivan’s comment on the American Embassy’s social media was quoted as saying. – The #PaulWhelan case is dragging on unreasonably long. Investigators never produced a single piece of evidence. The Russian authorities have shown no compelling reason for isolating Paul and are denying him adequate medical attention. This is an unworthy treatment “.
Russian Foreign Ministry rejects accusations of ill-treatment of Whelan and says he is simply trying to draw attention to his case.
Moscow insists that Whelan was caught red-handed: a flash drive with classified information was found on him. Whelan himself insists that the situation was rigged: he believed that on the flash drive that an acquaintance gave him were photos from vacation.
Past calls for Whelan’s release went unheeded.
Preliminary investigation into Whelan’s case completed in Russia
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