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Paul Whelan: Former Us Marine Sentenced To 16 Years Hard Labour Over Espionage Charges By Russian Court

By The Nigerian Voice
Photo credit: Sky News
Photo credit: Sky News
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Officials in Moscow claim Whelan, 50, was caught "red-handed" with a computer memory stick containing a list of Russian agents.

A Russian court has sentenced former US Marine Paul Whelan to 16 years hard labour after he was found guilty of spying charges.

Whelan, who has UK citizenship, as well as US, Canadian and Irish passports, has been in custody in Russia since he was arrested in a Moscow hotel room on 28 December 2018.

Police said they caught him "red-handed" with a computer memory stick containing a list of secret Russian agents.

The 50-year-old pleaded not guilty, claiming he was set up by a sting operation and that he had been given the USB drive by someone else, thinking it only contained holiday photos.

But today at Moscow City Court, he was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 16 years in a maximum security prison.

His brother David vowed to appeal the verdict, asking the US government to "immediately take steps to bring him home".

Image:Vladimir Zherebenkov, Paul Whelan's lawyer is pictured outside Moscow City Court today

He said in a statement: "The court's decision merely completes the final piece of this broken judicial process.

Credit:Sky News