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
© Getty Images

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. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS says it will leave Baghdad embassy if Iraq doesn't rein in attacks: report Watchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Trump's push for win with Sudan amps up pressure on Congress  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 TrumpNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Ocasio-Cortez: Trump contributed less in taxes 'than waitresses and undocumented immigrants' Third judge orders Postal Service to halt delivery cuts 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 StevensUS Chamber of Commerce set to endorse 23 House freshman Democrats Eric Esshaki wins Michigan GOP primary to challenge Haley Stevens The Hill's Campaign Report: Buzz builds around Warren for VP MORE (D-Mich.), who spearheaded the resolution, said on the House floor.