Comment by the Information and Press Department on the condition of Paul Whelan detained on spying charges
We continue recording Washington’s attempts to push, both directly and via its controlled media, the allegation that the Russian authorities are keeping Paul Whelan imprisoned for no reason and are denying him proper medical aid. Whelan, a citizen of the US and another three Western countries, was arrested on spying charges. This is yet another mass-scale disinformation campaign aimed at smearing Russia’s image.
As we have reported more than once, Whelan entered Russia as an American citizen with a tourist visa. He was detained in Moscow on December 29, 2018. Whelan was caught red-handed performing an intelligence operation. His spying activities have been fully documented.
The investigation into his case has been completed. He was given a final indictment on August 30 and has studied the materials of his case under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code since September 4. Apparently, he is in no haste and is deliberately drawing out the reading, although the beginning of the court hearings at which the evidence of his guilt will be presented depend on the completion of this process.
Representatives of the US Embassy, as well as diplomats from the UK, Ireland and Canada, whose passports Whelan has prudently acquired, regularly – in fact, every week – have access to him. They know perfectly well that his public statements on bullying and even a threat to his life in the pretrial detention centre are no more than a provocative line of defence aimed at creating an artificial uproar around him.
Whelan’s complaints about the terms of his detention and actions of investigators have not been confirmed even once. The defendant receives medical assistance not only from the doctors at the centre but also from specialists from city clinics. For example, a comprehensive medical check-up was organised for him at a Moscow clinic in September. It did not reveal any serious complaints. He was offered surgery to remove a minor ailment, but he turned the offer down and decided to limit himself to medication.
So, there is no threat to Whelan’s health. As for feigned illnesses to which he resorts from time to time, this is apparently part of US intelligence agent training.