MOSCOW, May 25. /TASS/. Russia’s public prosecutor demanded that US spy suspect Paul Whelan should be sentenced to 18 years in jail, the Moscow City Court’s press service told TASS on Monday.
"The state prosecutor has demanded that Whelan should be sentenced to 18 years in a maximum security colony," a spokesperson for the court said.
According to Whelan’s attorney Vladimir Zherebenkov, the sentence will be announced at 11:00 a.m. on June 15.
The lawyer asked the court to acquit Whelan saying that his guilt had not been proved. He also insists on a not-guilty verdict.
US citizen Paul Whelan, who also holds British, Canadian and Irish citizenship, is a global security chief at BorgWarner, a Michigan-based automotive components company. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said Whelan was detained on December 28, 2018 in Moscow while on an alleged spy mission. A criminal investigation was launched against him on espionage charges carrying a punishment of anywhere from 10 to 20 years behind bars.
Whelan denies committing the crime, while his defense attorneys insist the case is fabricated. On May 14, Moscow’s First Court of Appeal dismissed Whelan’s complaint against the Moscow City Court’s decision to extend his custody until September 13.