, FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Whelan family shows Paul Whelan in Iceland. Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov on Saturday Jan. 5, 2019, is brushing back suggestions that an American being held in Moscow on suspicion of spying could be exchanged for a Russian. Paul Whelan, who also holds Canadian, British and Irish citizenship was detained in late December. (Courtesy of the Whelan Family via AP)
02 of January 2019 13:11:35
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Paul Whelan, the former Marine detained in Russia on espionage charges (all times local):
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY'-oh) says the U.S. hopes to soon get access to an American detained in Russia on espionage charges.
Pompeo said Wednesday at a news conference in Brazil that the U.S. has "made clear to the Russians our expectation that we will learn more about the charges and come to understand what it is he's been accused of."
Paul Whelan was arrested in Moscow on Friday. The Russian Federal Security Service announced the arrest three days later and said Whelan was caught "during an espionage operation," but it gave no details.
Whelan is a former Marine from Michigan. His brother says he was in Moscow to attend a wedding.
Pompeo says "if the detention is not appropriate we will demand his immediate return."
The brother of a U.S. citizen arrested in Russia on espionage charges says he's innocent and was in Moscow to attend a wedding.
Paul Whelan was arrested in Moscow on Friday. The Russian Federal Security Service, in announcing the arrest three days later, said Whelan was caught "during an espionage operation," but gave no details.
His brother, David Whelan, said in a statement posted Tuesday on Twitter that his brother's "innocence is undoubted and we trust that his rights will be respected."
David Whelan said his brother is a retired Marine and the family is "deeply concerned for his safety and well-being."
The Russian spying charges carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.