MOSCOW, May 29. /TASS/. Paul Whelan, a US national held at a Russian detention facility, has returned to the Lefortovo prison in Moscow after an emergency surgery. The US Embassy in Russia informed TASS that they would be carefully monitoring Whelan’s health condition.
"We were informed today that Paul Whelan underwent emergency surgery yesterday. Ambassador Sullivan spoke to Paul this afternoon after Paul was transferred back to Lefortovo prison. We will be monitoring Paul’s progress closely, and we hope he will recover quickly," the embassy said.
Earlier, Whelan’s attorney Olga Karlova informed TASS that her client had undergone an inguinal hernia surgery.
"Paul’s health has been our greatest concern throughout his 17 months of incarceration in Russia, all without any evidence of a crime. We’ve repeatedly requested Paul be allowed an outside, English-speaking doctor, yet he’s been denied necessary medical attention. The fact that Russian authorities waited until Paul’s condition was life-threatening to provide him medical attention is unacceptable and dangerous," the embassy’s statement reads.
US citizen Paul Whelan, who also holds British, Canadian and Irish citizenship, was detained by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) 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 up to 20 years behind bars.
Whelan denies all charges. His defense stresses that the case is fabricated, while Whelan’s activity in Russia was of a strictly humanitarian nature. The court will pronounce Whelan’s sentence on June 15.