1/2/2019, 1:09 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Pompeo: Russia should explain detention of US citizen

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Russia on Wednesday to provide an explanation on why its authorities arrested Paul Whelan (pictured), an American citizen detained last week in Moscow.

"We have made it clear to the Russians our expectation that we will learn more about the charges, come to understand what he's been accused of, and if the detention is not appropriate we will demand his immediate return," Pompeo said.

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Monday its agents detained Whelan last Friday while he was engaging in "spy activity." No further information was provided. He is facing between 10 and 20 years in prison according to Russia's criminal code.

Pompeo added that Washington expects to gain consular access to Whelan during the day. Whelan's family said in an open letter yesterday that he visited Moscow to attend a friend's wedding. A 48-year-old former Marine and Iraq war veteran, he was dishonorably discharged and convicted of larceny in 2008. His brother said Paul has visited Russia several times in the past, since 2006.

It was confirmed that Whelan works as the director of global security at the transportation technology company BorgWarner Inc. Previously, he worked as the corporate security expert for Kelly Security Services.

Breaking the News / NI