Marines provide details of Whelan court-martial

Marines provide details of Whelan court-martial

The Marine Corps found Paul Whelan, the American citizen detained by Russian Federation on espionage charges, guilty of attempting to steal more than $10,000 worth of currency from the US government while deployed to Iraq in 2006 and bouncing almost $6,000 worth of checks around the same time, according to records obtained by The Washington Post.

The Novi man arrested in Russian Federation and charged with espionage might have some extra help in his bid to get out of jail.

Russian authorities have given no further information about Whelan's arrest.

Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday confirmed that Whelan also holds Irish citizenship and said it also is requesting consular access to him in Moscow.

"I believe the British citizenship and American citizenship are not the last", he said.

The ambassador said Washington complained to the Russian government about the length of time it took to grant consular access to Whelan after his arrest.

The expanding passport list for Whelan, a 48-year-old former Marine arrested last week in Moscow, has boosted the complexities and diplomatic fallout for Moscow.

A person familiar with Whelan's case said he has a total of four passports.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

The detention of Whelan comes weeks after Russian Maria Butina pleaded guilty in a USA court to acting as an agent for the Kremlin.

"We are giving every support we can, but we don't agree with individuals being used in diplomatic chess games", he continued. Whelan was visited by Jon Huntsman Jr., the USA ambassador to Russian Federation, inside his cell.

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Hunt said the US was "leading the case" and the United Kingdom has offered consular assistance. Butina, 30, is the first Russian national to be convicted of seeking to influence USA policy in the run-up to the 2016 election by acting as a foreign agent.

Whelan, the head of global security for a Michigan-based auto parts supplier and a former U.S. Marine, was in Moscow to attend a wedding for a friend from the Marine Corps when he disappeared, his twin brother, David, said Tuesday.

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

Accusations made by former foreign secretary Boris Johnson that the Kremlin was behind the nerve agent poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury past year were dismissed by Vladimir Putin.

Image: There are suspicions the arrest may be used to set up an exchange for Maria Butina.

"We urge the U.S. Congress and the State Department to help on Paul's behalf to secure his release and return him home soon", the family said.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was "extremely worried" about Whelan and "every support was being offered" to him.

Whalen was reduced in rank from staff sergeant to corporal and given a bad conduct discharge from the service.

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

Britain's foreign secretary says that Russian Federation is trying to use him as a pawn in its geopolitical games.

Whelan, a former staff sergeant with the Marines in Iraq, has visited Russian Federation since at least 2007.

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