Paul Whelan works lost box in the large glass, in the you have him locked up. The Aquarium will have to take the cage called, in the defendant seat. Prior to that, a guard with a Balaclava and handcuffs on the belt.

“Are you ok?” to call a journalist to the Americans in the courtroom. Whelan tries a Smile, it only lasts for a few seconds. “No questions,” one of the court officials intervening. What he says, does not understand Whelan, but he knows he’s not allowed to say anything.

Tuesday in town court in the North-East of Moscow. It is the first Time that Whelan will appear before the court after he was arrested in late December by the domestic intelligence service FSB. The Russian authorities accuse him of, in accordance with article 276 of the criminal act of espionage. Him ten to 20 years in prison.

The request of his lawyer to release him on bail of several million rubles from the custody and under house arrest, rejected the judge. Surprisingly, the decision is not to difficult to weigh the accusations against Whelan, the sages, his family and lawyer.

he could not speak. Cases in which it comes to espionage, classified in Russia as a “state secret”. In the Public little information to penetrate – can be transmitted especially by a: lawyer Vladimir Scherebenkow. And the appears to be like all the Whelan case opaque.

Paul Whelan and his lawyer Vladimir Scherebenkow (r.)

Scherebenkow 16 years worked for the investigative Committee. The Russian law-enforcement authority is used in all major investigations. The lawyer has good contacts in the security agencies. With two colleagues, he defended Wehlan. Asked who gave him the mandate for Whelan, wants to Scherebenkow only say so much: “I have on the 2. In January an agreement with Paul Whelan closed.”

In Public, the lawyer makes a rather unfortunate figure: So, he announces, among other things, that Whelans relatives come to Russia. The travelled but not all.

arrest in Nobel hotel

so Far, the case is Whelan the following to reconstruct The 48-Year-old travels with his US passport on June 22. December to Russia. He wants to go to a friends wedding. Six days later, he is taken in his room at the Nobel hotel Metropol in the centre of Moscow by the FSB. From a USB had been found-Stick with sensitive Material, says his lawyer. It should be according to a Russian media report, the list of employees of an authority or of a secret service. What is not clear. Not, who has handed Whelan the data carrier.

“A civil person”, says his lawyer, to demand, finally, that he ought not to be more specific, I have a confidentiality clause to sign. Whelan didn’t know what was exactly on the Stick and believed that it was photos and Videos of landmarks of Russia.

Was put Whelan so pure? The lawyer suggests. But why?

According to Russia, Whelan flew since 2006, according to the statements of his brother regularly, he wanted to explore the country, which was in times of the Cold war, as the enemy. He travelled with the train, collected Soviet tea glass holder, and even learned a little Russian. On his website he used the name Pavel, the Russian diminutive for Paul.

Via the social network VKontakte, he kept contact to 70 Russian Acquaintances, including an officer. His Russian friends, he congratulated regularly in Russian, for example, to 9. In may, the day of victory. As Donald Trump won the US presidential elections, posted it in Russian: “Forward President Trump!!”.

Ex-US Navy with four passports

it all fits in a little to the behavior of the alleged agent. Especially since Whelan in 2008, had to leave, despite two awards from the U.S. Navy after 14 years. He had committed, according to media reports, the stolen social security number from a colleague and cheque fraud. Most recently, Whelan worked for the automotive supplier BorgWarner in Michigan, he was for the safety of the production facilities.

For the Russian authorities in his case is complicated: Whelan is not only a citizen of the United States, where he has lived since his Childhood. But he has three other passports: the canadian, he was born in the North American country; the British, his parents are from great Britain; and the Irish, his grandparents are Irish. The messages request access to Whelan.

exchange for Russian student?

Political reasons for the arrest of its mandates does not want to recognize Whelans lawyer, called the proceedings even “constructive” and “professional”. It is Scherebenkow itself, brings with it the beginning of January, a possible replacement to the game, even though a judgment against Whelan.

Maria Butina

In this context, the Name of the Russian student, Maria Butina. With Whelan the Russian one: combines the enthusiasm for the other country. The Americans interested in Russian culture and traditions, Butina as a Fan of weapons, and the liberal dealing with them in the United States.

she is accused of, to have in the order of Russian attempts to influence political organizations in the United States – which denies Moscow. Butina has admitted their guilt, but only to reduce your sentence, it is called in Russia. The Russian foreign Ministry uses the image of the young woman, now as a profile image on Twitter.

Actually, the Russian side could stage the Whelan case well, in order to generate pressure. However, in the state of television, has no Videos of his arrest are as yet surfaced.

The Americans, now remains nothing more than to be seen. His lawyer expects that the investigation will take at least a year and a half. “Next stop Moscow” is the Status that Whelan on his Vkontakte page has deposited. It will be a longer stop.

employees: Tatiana Sutkovaja

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.