NEW YORK, October 14. /TASS/. US diplomats have not confirmed information on the violent treatment of US citizen Paul Whelan, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in Russia, his brother David Whelan told TASS on Thursday.
"As I mentioned recently when Paul passed 1,000 days as a Russian hostage, Paul had alleged that an IK-17 officer had struck him," he said. According to the inmate’s brother, the staff of the US Embassy in Russia viewed the video of the incident during the September 21 visit.
"They did not see anything that caused them concern and believe that the physical contact the officer made with Paul, however inappropriate, was a misunderstanding," he noted. According to Whelan’s brother, his lawyer Olga Karlova subsequently received a report of the investigation from Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service whose experts came to a similar conclusion.
On December 28, 2018, Whelan, who has US, UK, Canadian and Irish citizenship, was detained by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in a room at 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. On June 15, 2020, the Moscow City Court found Whelan guilty of spying against Russia and sentenced him to 16 years in a high-security colony. Whelan is serving his sentence in Penal Colony No. 17 in Mordovia.