Detained American in Russia Request Transfer to United States

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According to lawyer Olga Karlova, the defense team of US national Paul Whelan, who was convicted in Russia on espionage charges, will shortly seek that he be sent to the United States to complete the remainder of his sentence.

“Whelan’s transfer to the United States has been requested. We want to submit it with Moscow City Court before the end of the week. In fact, whether it will be given is dependent on the goodwill of the two countries. If Russia and the United States reach an agreement, a court will make a decision based on that. We are submitting the request with strong expectations that it would be granted “, she stated.

Karlova also underlined that the defense team had been unable to reach Whelan by phone, despite having the legal authority to do so. “I have filed a complaint with the prosecution, requesting that officials at the prison colony where Whelan is serving his term allow us to meet with our client,” the lawyer continued.

Whelan, who has US, British, Canadian, and Irish passports, was apprehended by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on December 28, 2018, while on an espionage operation in Moscow. A criminal investigation was launched against him in accordance with Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code (espionage). Whelan was subsequently sentenced to 16 years in a high-security prison colony by the Moscow City Court.