On June 15, a Moscow court sentenced Paul Whelan to 16 years in a penal colony for espionage. Whelan visited Moscow in December 2018 to attend a friend’s wedding. Russian agents arrested him after he allegedly accepted a thumb drive with classified information. Whelan has citizenship in the U.S., Canada, Ireland and Britain.
Whelan has strenuously disputed his arrest and prosecution as a setup. In a statement released after his sentencing, the U.S. State Department condemned the trial and treatment of Whelan as “appalling.”
The ministry’s statement is false.
In fact, Whelan and his lawyer had limited access to evidence against him; moreover, it was provided in Russian and not English.