17 Sep 2019 13:10

Whelan tells court he experienced physical violence at doctor's hands

MOSCOW. Sept 17 (Interfax) - Suspected U.S. spy Paul Whelan has told the Moscow City Court he has no access to medical aid and has experienced physical violence at a doctor's hands.

"Human rights violations abound, medical treatment is being refused, a doctor actually assaulted me, full consular access is being denied," Whelan said.

"My dog, Flora, she's a golden retriever, has received better medical care than I am receiving from the government or Russia, she has received two surgeries this year, and that is well more than the government of Russia will do for me," he said.

U.S. citizen Whelan was apprehended in Moscow on December 28, 2018, and charged with spying. He is facing from ten to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

According to his lawyer, Whelan was indicted on counts of spying for U.S. security services. The USB flash drive seized from him contained information constituting state secrets. Whelan believed it contained personal information about his previous visits to Russia and had not had chance to check, the lawyer said.

It emerged later that he was citizen of three more countries - the UK, Ireland, and Canada. Their embassies received his request for help.

According to the lawyer, Whelan pleaded not guilty and called his prosecution a mistake.

Whelan's brother David said he had come to Moscow for a wedding. He additionally said Whelan was a discharged marine. The Whelan family asked the U.S. Congress, the U.S. embassy in Russia, and the Department of State for assistance, David Whelan said.