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Jailed US national Whelan may require surgery, says brother

The arrestee's relative did not specify what kind of surgery Whelan requires
US national Paul Whelan Sergei Savostyanov/TASS
US national Paul Whelan
© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

NEW YORK, October 22. /TASS/. US national Paul Whelan, detained in Russia on charges of espionage, may require urgent surgical treatment, his brother David Whelan told TASS in a letter sent on Tuesday.

He did not specify what kind of surgery Whelan requires. The US national is currently held at the Lefortovo detention center in Moscow. In late August, Whelan’s attorney informed that his client requires an operation due to the inguinal hernia that he had contracted, however, Whelan refuses to have the operation done in Russia without consulting with a US or Canadian doctor first.

"He [Paul Whelan] has requested that the prison send his medical records to the US, UK, Canadian, and Irish embassies. When he asked the UK representatives if anyone had received them, they indicated that no embassy had received his medical records. Like so much of Paul's mail, it is apparently very difficult for Lefortovo prison to get Russia Post to deliver across town," David Whelan wrote.

"In the meantime, Paul goes untreated and unexamined, despite the danger that emergency surgery may be necessary at any time," he added.

Attorney Vladimir Zherebenkov informed TASS that on October 24, Moscow Lefortovo Court would consider the prosecution’s appeal to prolong Paul Whelan’s arrest for two months.

US citizen Paul Whelan, who also holds British, Canadian and Irish passports, is a global security chief at BorgWarner, a Michigan-based automotive components company. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) informed that Whelan had been detained on December 28, 2018 in Moscow while on an alleged spy mission. A criminal investigation was opened against him on espionage charges carrying a punishment of up to 20 years behind bars.