The data that the American Paul Whelan, convicted of espionage, was beaten in the colony does not correspond to reality. This was announced on Sunday, September 19, in the press service of the Federal Penitentiary Service for the Republic of Mordovia, where the convict is serving his sentence.
“The information that convicted Paul Whelan was allegedly hit by someone in the building of the administration of the correctional colony is untrue and is a provocation,” said Marina Khanieva, a spokesman for the department.
As noted in the department, the entire time of Whelan’s stay in the colony building was recorded on video.
“This citizen visited the headquarters of the correctional institution in order to use the legal right to make a phone call, which the staff kindly provided to him,” the department explained, adding that the video recordings will be transferred to the appropriate authorities for the examination of the actions of the prison staff and the convict.
Whelan is currently serving a sentence in a maximum security penal colony in the Zubovo-Polyansky district of the republic.
On September 2, lawyer Olga Karlova informed Izvestia about filing a petition with the Supreme Court of Mordovia. She noted that Whelan had a hard time in the colony. Also, the lawyer believes that they are being too strict with the American.
On September 14, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation announced that it had not received a petition from Whelan’s defense to transfer him to serve his sentence in the United States. The Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation also emphasized that when the documents are received by the department, the Federal Service for the Execution of Punishments will prepare the materials provided for by the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, which are necessary to consider this issue on the merits.
Whelan was detained in Moscow at the end of 2018. A criminal case was opened against him under Article 276 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Espionage”). The American himself, in his last word at the trial, pleaded not guilty and asked to be released.
In mid-June 2020, the Moscow City Court sentenced Whelan to 16 years in prison. On the same day, the US State Department demanded the immediate release of the compatriot.
Besides American, Whelan has British, Canadian and Irish citizenship.