Former US Marine Convicted in Russia of Espionage
Former US Marine Paul Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in prison by a Moscow court on Monday. He has been found guilty of espionage.
His defence has said he will appeal the sentence.
The former Marine was arrested in December 2018. Whelan, 50, who holds a U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passport, was arrested for allegedly receiving state secrets.
He denies the charges and says he has been tricked.
Whelan says he was in Russia for a wedding and got a USB stick from an acquaintance assuming it contained vacation photos.
The maximum sentence for espionage is twenty years in prison. The American’s lawyer said earlier that there is little evidence against Whelan.
According to him, the knowledge that the USB stick gave is the only witness against Whelan, while the rest of his old acquaintances in Russia testified in his favour.