May 14, 2020 / 2:23 PM / in 16 days

Russian court rules to keep former U.S. Marine in jail during spy trial

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian court on Thursday upheld a decision to keep former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan in custody until Sept. 13 during his trial on spying charges.

Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained in December 2018 and accused of espionage. Moscow says he was caught red-handed, but he denies the allegations and says he was set up in a sting.

Whelan’s trial began on March 23 and is being held behind closed doors as it concerns classified information.

Whelan’s defence team on Thursday lodged an appeal against a ruling to hold him in custody until Sept. 13.

“Unfortunately our appeal was rejected,” said Olga Karlova, a member of his legal team.

Before his trial was made closed to the public, the former U.S. Marine used appearances at hearings after his arrest to allege he had been ill-treated by prison guards and been denied medical attention.

Reporting by Lev Sergeev and Andrey Ostroukh, Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Tom Balmforth and Barbara Lewis

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