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 PompeoSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process 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 TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' 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 StevensFormer GOP Michigan congressman says Trump is unfit for office The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — Pelosi looks to play hardball on timing of impeachment trial Debbie Dingell responds to Trump: 'You brought me down in a way you can never imagine' MORE (D-Mich.), who spearheaded the resolution, said on the House floor.