Russian prosecutors requested a court docket on Monday to condemn former U.S. marine Paul Whelan, who’s on trial accused of spying for america, to 18 years in a most safety jail, his lawyer stated.
Whelan, a U.S. nationwide who additionally holds British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained in December 2018. He has strenuously denied the cost, saying he was arrange in a sting.
The court docket will announce its verdict on June 15, Whelan’s lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov stated after Monday’s listening to.
“The prosecution has made a very harsh demand. It’s absolutely unjustified and groundless. To be honest, we’re in shock,” Whelan’s lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov informed reporters after Monday’s listening to.
His trial, which started on March 23, has been closed to the general public as its content material broaches categorised info. Lots of
the case’s particulars have emerged by his lawyer.
U.S. Ambassador in Moscow John Sullivan stated the proceedings amounted to a “secret trial” and a “mockery of justice.”
“There is no legitimacy to a procedure that is hidden behind closed doors. It is not transparent, it is not fair and it is not impartial,” he stated.
Allegations of poor remedy
Whelan, who turned 50 in custody this 12 months, has used his appearances at hearings to allege he has been ill-treated by jail guards and been denied medical consideration.
Russian authorities have accused him of faking well being issues to attract consideration to his case.
Whelan, born in Ottawa to British mother and father, resided in Michigan for greater than twenty years previous to his arrest.
Whelan served within the Marine Corps however was convicted at a court-martial of prices that included larceny whereas serving as an administrative clerk in Iraq in 2006. He was lowered in rank from workers sergeant to corporal and given a foul conduct discharge from the service.
WATCH l Sept. 2019: Whelan denounces prices:
The prosecution within the Russian case accuses Whelan of being at the very least a rating U.S. army intelligence colonel and that he was caught red-handed attempting to acquire secrets and techniques, his lawyer stated.
The defence stated Whelan had solely believed he was receiving images of a visit that he and an acquaintance had been on, not categorised materials, and that he had been tricked, Zherebenkov stated.
“This was a game by Russia’s Federal Security Service,” he stated.
U.S. authorities have referred to as the costs in opposition to Whelan spurious and have referred to as on Russia to launch him, describing the case as a “significant obstacle” to bettering bilateral ties.