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American Detained In Russia Over Spy Claims Was There For Wedding: Family
The family of Paul Whelan, a retired U.S. Marine recently detained on espionage charges in Russia is insisting on his innocence, saying he was abroad only for a wedding when he was taken into custody on Friday.
The Russian Federal Security Service, Russia’s security agency, confirmed Whelan’s arrest in a statement that accused him of conducting a “spy mission” while in Moscow, according to a translation by NPR.
An espionage conviction in Russia can carry a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years, Reuters reported.
“We have been formally notified of the detention by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” a State Department spokesperson said in an email. “Russia’s obligations under the Vienna Convention require them to provide consular access. We have requested this access and expect Russian authorities to provide it.”
Whelan’s arrest follows Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina’s pleading guilty to conspiracy against the U.S. in December. The close timing of his detention has led to speculation that it was done in retaliation.
Trump went pretty hard a while back to get some dude back from North Korea. i dont remember why that dude was detained or for how long. wasnt there 2 separate instances of that? i feel like one dude came back but another died there and came back here with all kinds of parasites or something