U.S. "outraged" by Russian court's conviction of U.S. citizen

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-15 23:00:57|Editor: huaxia

WASHINGTON, June 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Department of State said on Monday that it was outraged by a Russian court's decision to convict U.S. citizen Paul Whelan, who was sentenced to 16 years in jail earlier in the day.

"The United States is outraged by the decision of a Russian court today to convict U.S. citizen Paul Whelan after a secret trial, with secret evidence, and without appropriate allowances for defense witnesses," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

The Moscow City Court on Monday sentenced U.S. citizen Paul Whelan to 16 years in jail after finding him guilty of spying in Russia, local media reported.

Whelan's lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov told reporters that after the appeal they will decide whether to request a pardon or an exchange for Russian nationals Konstantin Yaroshenko or Viktor Bout jailed in the United States.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday that Moscow has repeatedly offered options for prisoner swaps to Washington and its position now remains unchanged.

Whelan, 50, was detained in Moscow by the Russian Federal Security Service on suspicion of espionage on Dec. 28, 2018, although his family said he traveled to Moscow only to attend a friend's wedding.

Before his detention, Whelan was head of the security service of a U.S. firm producing automobile parts. He also has British, Irish and Canadian citizenships. Enditem