'An egregious violation of human rights': Russian court sentences former US Marine Paul Whelan to 16 years in prison

'An egregious violation of human rights': Russian court sentences former US Marine Paul Whelan to 16 years in prison
Paul Whelan imprisoned in Russia, screenshot from video of the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Russia

Accused of spying by Russian authorities, former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan has been jailed in Moscow since December 2018. And the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and Russian media report that Whelan has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after being convicted on espionage charges.

Rebecca Ross, a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, announced the sentence on Twitter. According to Ross, John J. Sullivan (U.S. ambassador to Russia) asserted, “This secret trial in which no evidence was produced is an egregious violation of human rights and international legal norms.”

Sullivan told reporters, “There was no evidence recited by the judge that justified the detention that he's already been subjected to, which is a year-and-a-half. I am disappointed, crestfallen, outraged at what I’ve just heard.”

Attorneys for Whelan — who holds passports in the U.S., the U.K., Canada and the Republic of Ireland — are expected to appeal the sentence.

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