NPR

Suspected U.S. Spy 'Is Holding Up Surprisingly Well' In Russian Jail, Lawyer Says

The brother of Paul Whelan, the American arrested in Moscow in late December, says Russia has given the family no information for why he is being accused of spying.
Paul Whelan, an American accused of espionage and arrested in Russia, listens to his lawyers while standing inside a defendants' cage during a hearing at a court in Moscow on Jan. 22. Source: Mladen Antonov

Paul Whelan was wearing a blue button-down Oxford shirt and glasses when he made his first and only public appearance in a Moscow courtroom last month after being arrested as a suspected spy.

The 48-year-old Michigan resident stood in the glass box customary for defendants in Russian courtrooms. Two defense lawyers leaned into a tiny window to talk with him while a plainclothes officer in a balaclava and jeans stood by.

The judge declined to release Whelan on bail, and he was sent back to his cell in the notorious Lefortovo Prison, where he was being held after Russian

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR5 min read
Replacing Plastic: Can Bacteria Help Us Break The Habit?
Entrepreneurs are eager to find substitutes for plastic that naturally degrade. One option is a "natural" plastic made by microbes and then eaten by them. But the process is still in early days.
NPR2 min readSociety
6 People Shot, 1 Fatally, At Graduation Party In Philadelphia
Four of the people injured were teenagers. "It's just another case of wanton and senseless violence that we can't get our brains around," the city's police commissioner said.
NPR12 min readPolitics
Tobacco's 'Special Friend': What Internal Documents Say About Mitch McConnell
The Senate majority leader wants to raise the age for tobacco sales to 21. An NPR review of once-secret documents shows how closely McConnell has worked with the industry over decades.