Britain Warns Russia Against 'Chess Games' Over Alleged Spy

05 January, 2019, 08:05 | Author: Donnie King
  • Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption David Whelan comments on his brother's arrest by Russian authorities

Several told The Associated Press that the American never seemed sinister, merely someone who was interested in Russian Federation and wanted to be pen pals. "The US are leading on this because he is a British and American citizen".

The FSB has opened a criminal case against Whelan but given no details of his alleged activities.

He has collected dozens of contacts on the social media site, almost all of them men, many of whom have at least some connection to the military.

David Whelan said Huntsman's visit to his brother "was really just a good check to know that he was well and still alive".

"Paul is a kind and considerate brother, son and uncle, and a generous and loyal friend", he wrote. "He is many things to many people, but he is not a spy".

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison. He is also a citizen of Britain, Canada and Ireland, which brings worldwide pressure on Russian Federation from several fronts.

He was born in Canada to British parents, and later moved to the US.

Whelan's family has said that he was visiting Moscow for the wedding of a retired Marine and is innocent of the espionage charges against him. Instead he's in Lefortovo, a notorious prison run by the KGB in Soviet times and still used for foreigners accused of spying.

It doesn't matter which passport Whelan used to enter Russian Federation.

Even before then, he had begun developing a network of contacts throughout Russian Federation.

"It could be a real practical advantage for him to have the Brits and the Irish piling on", Spiro said.

Whelan is now in detention, awaiting trial on charges of espionage. Many share his interest in sports and firearms. "We have offered consular assistance", Hunt said.

Russian news agency Rosbalt, citing Moscow security circles, has claimed Whelan received a classified list of names from a Russian citizen, though those claims have yet to be independently verified.

The spokesperson said London was trying to replace the idea of worldwide laws by a set of vague rules to cover up its legal shortcomings and evade responsibility for breaking laws, while accusing others of violations.

Whelan's brother said it would not be surprising to find Russian soldiers among his contacts.

Former intelligence officials are skeptical that Whelan was in fact spying on behalf of the United States. He said Whelan gave him his home address and they exchanged Christmas cards. He expressed gratitude to the USA ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, for his assistance. They note that the Central Intelligence Agency would be unlikely to use someone in Russian Federation without diplomatic immunity and leave them vulnerable to arrest. He rose in the ranks of the Marines to staff sergeant and served during the Iraq War.

Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, bouncing checks is a violation of an article created to uphold discipline and good order and prevent conduct that brings discredit to the service. He spent 14 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and was discharged in 2008 for bad conduct related to larceny, according to the military. "He's not the type of person you would use as an asset".

The suspect's attorney said that his client was treated "professionally and humanely" by the Russian investigators.

The U.S. ambassador to Russian Federation, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, visited Paul Whelan in jail on Wednesday, after the U.S. requested access to him.

U.K. -Russian relations were sharply damaged by the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning in March, for which Russia has angrily denied involvement.



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