Bail Sought for Former Marine Held in Moscow for Alleged Spying

Outside of the Lefortovo detention centre in Moscow where Paul Whelan is being held. His lawyer has meanwhile asked for bail

Whelan, a former staff sergeant with the Marines in Iraq, has visited Russian Federation since at least 2007.

Mr Whelan's family has said that he was visiting Moscow for the wedding of a fellow former Marine, and that he had been to Russian Federation "numerous times" since 2007.

There is still plenty of mystery surrounding Whelan's case.

Whelan has been visiting Russian Federation since at least 2007, when he took advantage of a military program for Marines deployed in Iraq that gave them 15 days of leave and paid for the travel.

The company said Whelan was "responsible for overseeing security at our facilities in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and at other company locations around the world". He appealed the ruling but the service upheld the conviction.

His military record shows he was discharged for bad conduct due to allegedly kiting checks.

David Whelan said he doubted his brother was a spy.

Embassies of four countries are trying to assist ex-U.S.

"Our focus remains on ensuring that Paul is safe, well treated, has a good lawyer, and is coming home", his family said in a statement.

"We are extremely anxious about Paul Whelan, we have offered consular assistance".

Initial reports also suggested that Whelan, who was born to British parents in Ottawa before eventually settling in MI, may hold a Canadian passport.

Britain and Russia's relationship sharply deteriorated past year after a former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, was poisoned in England with a nerve agent and spent months recovering.

United Kingdom foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed that the British embassy in Moscow had also offered consular assistance to the former soldier, who previously served in Iraq as a staff sergeant with the Marines.

More news: Tennis Perth Roger Federer cruises to win at Hopman Cup

The minimal amount of information provided by Russia - where many offices are closed until after the Russian Orthodox Church marks Christmas on Monday - only adds to the intrigue.

Earlier this week, NPR asked John Sipher, a former member of the CIA's Clandestine Service who worked in Moscow, whether Whelan fits the profile of an American spy working inside Russian Federation - to which Sipher replied, "Absolutely not".

Putin has previously stated he would rein in Russian retaliatory measures against US interests in the hope relations would improve, but Whelan's detention indicates the Kremlin's calculations may now have changed.

In December, Butina pleaded guilty to conspiring with a senior Russian official to infiltrate US conservative groups. Butina, 30, is the first Russian national to be convicted of seeking to influence US policy in the run-up to the 2016 election by acting as a foreign agent.

Shortly before Butina pleaded guilty, Russian President Vladimir Putin said she was not known to any of his spy agencies. The Foreign Ministry has gone to great lengths to paint Butina as a political prisoner, notably by launching a wide-ranging social media campaign.

"We are all extremely anxious about him and his family", Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC in an interview.

"We are giving every support we can, but we don't agree with individuals being used in diplomatic chess games".

The Russian Federal Security Service, or FSB, has said MI resident Whelan, a 48-year-old corporate security director from the Detroit area, was arrested on espionage charges. Media reports said that Whelan also carried passports from Canada and Ireland. "He collected them as a game. We need to see what these charges are against him and understand whether there is a case or not", Hunt said.

Mr Whelan, 48, was arrested in Moscow last week apparently on espionage charges.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week Washington had asked Moscow to explain Whelan's arrest and would demand his immediate return if it determined his detention is inappropriate.

US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. visited Whelan in Moscow's Lefortovo Prison on Wednesday and offered support and assistance, though he refused to discuss the case in detail.

Ferris-Rotman reported from Moscow.

Related News:

Most liked

Rockets GM: Harden possibly the best offensive National Basketball Association star ever
Following the Warriors game, Daryl Morey added that "you can argue for [Harden] as the best offensive player of all time". Including his 50-point game against the Lakers on 13 December Harden has scored at least 30 in 11 straight. "The work.

Patriots Ty Law, Richard Seymour make Football Hall finalist list
Former Indianapolis Colts running back Edgerrin James has been named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2019. If Reed is chosen for induction, he would become the third Hall of Famer who spent the majority of his career with the Ravens.

Reading boss feels ‘this’ man is not important for Man United’s success
He will be a huge star for United because there's that ability. "It is such a great bunch of players, a fantastic atmosphere". He might be partnered by Marouane Fellaini and Andreas Pereira , who is set to receive his first start under the new manager.

10 flu deaths in Arkansas, 11 in Oklahoma
The Iowa Department of Public Health says a man from eastern Iowa is the first person to die from the flu in the 2018-19 season. The flu shot is likely to help a lot too this year, he said, as the vaccine is usually good at matching H1N1 strains.

Briefing: Apple cuts sales forecast following weakened China sales 1 min read
China is also one of Apple's most important markets, once referred to as a "hypermarket" by Cook. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 500 points in morning trading Thursday.

Netflix poaches its new CFO from Activision
CNBC reports the share price for Activision Blizzard dropped by 1 percent after the news became public of the company's plans. As for now, all we do know officially is that Neumann is currently no longer the CFO of Activision Blizzard.

Donald Trump uses old tricks in shutdown talks with new Congress
Trump met with congressional leadership from both sides of the aisle Wednesday amid an on-going partial government shutdown . When asked by a reporter if he would accept less than $5 billion, Trump said: "I'd rather not say it".

‘Stranger Things’ season 3 gets release date
It looks like it is some type of computer program, but that's all we can guess at this point. It includes footage from Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve from the year in question.

Police mourn after doughnut van perishes in blaze
Police in Lexington, Kentucky are in mourning, after a doughnut truck caught fire as it was passing through the town. Police forces and sympathisers around the U.S. were quick to offer condolences to their fellow officers in Lexington.

France, Britain agree on action plan for migrant Channel crossings
Mr Javid has come under growing pressure to act, and cut short a family holiday in South Africa to address the issue. Dover MP Charlie Elphicke called for more patrol boats and accused the Home Office of letting the "crisis" escalate.

7-Year-Old Girl Dies In Houston Walmart Shooting
Washington was shot in the arm and her daughter, Jazmine Barnes , was killed in the shooting Sunday morning. The sheriff's office is asking locals in the area around Wallisville Road near the E.

United Arab Emirates Reopens Embassy in Syria
It noted that both Syria and Egypt aim to reactivate the Syrian-Egyptian relations first and the Arab relations in general. On Wednesday, the White House clarified that Trump's tweet was not meant to announce a new commitment from Saudi Arabia .

Alabama DT Quinnen Williams hilariously stopped himself from potentially dissing Kyler Murray
Fittingly, the final play of Kyler Murray's electric 2018 season for the Oklahoma Sooners saw him waltzing into the end zone. You've got to compete for your team, for the university, for the state".

Special player steps up in a big way — PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK
Brady will be 42 at the start of next season, and he's said in the past that he would like to play until he's well into his 40s. Still, he improved his record against the Bills to 30-3, which is the most victories by a quarterback against a single opponent.

Amanda Nunes stuns Joe Rogan with brutal Cris Cyborg KO
The one name that kept popping up after her fight was Shevchenko, but Nunes scoffed at the notion of a third fight with "Bullet". They get right down to the wire, and I think Vince throws so much money at him that he goes "alright, I'll do it again".