MOSOCW, August 20. /TASS/. Attorneys for US citizen Paul Whelan, convicted in Russia on espionage charges, have filed a motion with the Moscow City Court asking to transfer him to the United States to complete his sentence.
"We have lodged a motion with the Moscow City Court asking to transfer Whelan to the United States to complete his sentence. He was convicted on charges for spying for America, so, we are asking to transfer him to that country, and not to Canada or Ireland, where he is also a citizen," his attorney Olga Karlova told TASS on Friday.
According to Karlova, the transfer request is based on the Convention of the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, which provides for such a possibility. "We also point out that Whelan has no previous record and has dependent parents who cannot visit him in Russia because of old age," she said.
She also recalled that Whelan suffers from a number of chronic diseases but "cannot properly describe his symptoms to the prison doctors because of his poor command of Russian." "These circumstances make my client suffer in the Russian colony and his transfer to the United States will be an act of humanism," she added.
On December 28, 2018, Whelan, who holds US, UK, Canadian and Irish citizenship, was detained by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in a room of the Metropol Hotel in Moscow while on an alleged spy mission.
The FSB opened a criminal case against him on charges of espionage under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code. The Moscow City Court found Whelan guilty of spying against Russia and sentenced him to 16 years in a high security colony.