Former US Marine Paul Whelan will not appeal against his prison sentence for spying in Russia and hopes rather to be launched through a future detainee swap with the US, his lawyer has actually stated.
The 50- year- old, who has UK citizenship, along with US, Irish and canadian passports, has actually been in custody in Russia because he was detained in a Moscow hotel space on 28 December 2018.
Cops stated they captured him “red-handed” with a computer memory stick including a list of secret Russian representatives.
He was founded guilty of espionage and sentenced to 16 years in an optimal security jail.
He had actually pleaded not guilty, declaring he was established by a sting operation which he had actually been offered the USB drive by another person, believing it just included vacation pictures.
On Tuesday, his lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov stated Whelan would not be lodging an appeal against the sentence and was wanting to be released as part of a detainee swap, according to Interfax news firm.
Whelan’s sibling David had actually sworn to appeal against recently’s decision, asking the US federal government to “immediately take steps to bring him home”.
US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan explained the case against Whelan as a “mockery of justice”.
He stated he was “crestfallen” by the judge’s decision, including: “An American citizen has been sentenced to a term of 16 years for a crime for which we have not seen evidence.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “Annoyed by the decision today to found guilty Paul Whelan on the basis of a secret trial, with secret proof, and without suitable allowances for defence witnesses.
“Paul’s treatment by Russian authorities continues to be dreadful, and we require his instant release.”
Sky News’ Moscow reporter Diana Magnay stated Whelan’s sentence was “no great surprise”.
“The fact it was not the 18 years the prosecution requested is hardly a concession,” she stated.
” The procedure was held completely behind closed doors, basically a secret trial in which he and all 4 ambassadors whose citizenship he holds state no proof of his regret has actually existed.
” Whelan has actually constantly kept the trial was a sham and piece of political theatre.”