Ex-marine held in Russian Federation for spying is British dual national

Elias Hubbard
January 4, 2019

CBS News national security contributor Mike Morrell - the former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has said Whelan's arrest should be a warning to any American thinking about going to Moscow, that now is not a good time to visit Russian Federation.

He was born in Canada to British parents, and later moved to the US.

His twin, David Whelan, said his brother's "innocence is undoubted and we trust that his rights will be respected". "We are all extremely anxious about him and his family".

Image: There are suspicions the arrest may be used to set up an exchange for Maria Butina.

Britain was informed of his status by the United States embassy in Moscow and immediately requested consular access from the Russian authorities.

Paul Whelan arrest
British national Paul Whelan 48 a former US Marine has been detained in Russia on spying charges

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this week the United States had asked Russian Federation to explain Whelan's arrest and would demand his immediate return if it determines his detention is inappropriate.

The 48-year-old retired Marine, who's been jailed for a week in solitary confinement, has reportedly asked for an English-speaking cellmate and requested toothpaste, a brush and clothing. Authorities have not given details of the allegations against him.

Mr Whelan's lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, said he has appealed to the court against the detention of his client and requested he is released on bail.

On the same day, the American ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, met Mr Whelan at Lefortovo prison, a former KGB facility, where he is being held. "Due to the provisions of the Privacy Act, no further information can be disclosed".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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