MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. This Monday, June 15, the Moscow City Court found US national Paul Whelan guilty and sentenced him to 16 years in prison. Whelan’s lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov stated that after the sentence enters into force, negotiations could begin on an exchange deal for Russian nationals Viktor Bout or Konstantin Yaroshenko, imprisoned in the US.
"[Whelan] was sentenced by a court ruling, everything is said in the sentence. He was charged, the charges were proven in court and accepted by the court," Peskov said.
The spokesman refrained from commenting on the court ruling and Whelan’s future. "The Kremlin does not engage in such matters and I do not comment on the ruling and the situation in general in any way," Peskov underscored.
Whelan, a citizen of the US, the UK, Canada and Ireland, was apprehended by the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the middle of a spy action in Metropol Hotel on December 28, 2018. The FSB Investigative Directorate initiated criminal proceeding against him over charges of espionage. This Monday, the Moscow City Court found him guilty and sentenced him to 16 years in prison. Whelan’s lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov informed that after the sentence enters force negotiations may begin on his exchange for Russian nationals Viktor Bout or Konstantin Yaroshenko, imprisoned in the US.