Russian judge orders ex-Marine to be detained through December on espionage charges

Russian judge orders ex-Marine to be detained through December on espionage charges
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A Russian judge ordered former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan to remain in jail until Dec. 29 on espionage charges, Reuters cited the Russian Interfax news agency as reporting Thursday.

Russia detained Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, last December on accusations of espionage. Moscow alleges to have caught him spying, but Whelan has denied all the allegations and maintained his detention is retaliation or sanctions levied in response to Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election. 

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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDemocrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Linda Ronstadt tells Pompeo at dinner that he'll 'be loved' when 'he stops enabling Donald Trump' Gaetz defends Ukraine call: Trump acted on 'sincere' concerns of corruption MORE has called for Russia to release information on why Whelan is being held, saying the administration will demand his release if the detention is “not appropriate.”

“We’ve made clear to the Russians our expectation that we will learn more about the charges, come to understand what it is he’s been accused of, and if the detention is not appropriate, we will demand his immediate return,” Pompeo said earlier this year, according to Reuters.

The House of Representatives this week passed a resolution by voice vote calling on the Russian government to provide evidence of wrongdoing or else release Whelan.

The resolution calls for Russia to “provide unrestricted consular access to Paul Whelan while he remains in detention” and ensure due process. It also “expresses sympathy” to Whelan’s family. It also urges President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE and Pompeo to ramp up pressure on Moscow to ensure a transparent judicial process is provided.

“By bringing up my resolution today, H.Res. 552, we are making clear to the Russian government and President Putin that Congress will not tolerate the indefinite detention of a U.S. Citizen without evidence,” Rep. Haley StevensHaley Maria StevensRussian judge orders ex-Marine to be detained through December on espionage charges House calls on Russia to release Paul Whelan or else provide evidence of wrongdoing Pelosi-backed group funding ads for vulnerable Democrats amid impeachment inquiry MORE (D-Mich.), who spearheaded the resolution, said on the House floor.