Moscow Court Won’t Hear Whelan’s U.S. Transfer Plea, Lawyer Says
(Bloomberg) -- A court in Moscow refused to hear a request by Paul Whelan, the American sentenced to 16 years in jail last year for spying in Russia, to be allowed to transfer to the U.S., his lawyer said.
Whelan will now submit his plea to a court in Mordovia region, where he’s serving his sentence, the lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, said. “This means we will lose at least 2 to 3 months,” he said.
U.S. President Joe Biden raised the cases of Whelan and another jailed American, Trevor Reed, at his summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Geneva in June. Biden later told reporters “I’m not going to walk away” from the two men, who deny any wrongdoing. The delay in hearing Whelan’s request underlines tensions between Moscow and Washington with relations at their lowest in decades over alleged Kremlin election meddling and escalating U.S. sanctions against Russia.
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