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Ex-U.S. Marine held in Russia asks Trump to help

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:31s - Published < > Embed
Ex-U.S. Marine held in Russia asks Trump to help

Ex-U.S. Marine held in Russia asks Trump to help

A former U.S. Marine held in Russia on suspicion of spying called on U.S. President Donald Trump and the leaders of Britain, Canada and Ireland to help him as he appeared in court at an appeal hearing on Thursday.

Havovi Cooper reports.

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Ex-U.S. Marine held in Russia asks Trump to help

EDITOR'S NOTE: CORRECTING LOWER-THIRDS ON VIDEO A former U.S. Marine - being held behind bars in Russia on charges of spying- appealed to U.S. President Donald Trump for help Thursday.

SOUNDBITE FORMER U.S. MARINE PAUL WHELAN SAYING: "Mr president (Trump), we cannot keep America great unless we aggressively protect and defend American citizens wherever they are in the world." Paul Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained in a Moscow hotel room in December and accused of espionage, a charge he denies.

Whelan has complained about his conditions- telling reporters last month that he had been threatened by a Russian investigator in custody and harassed.

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian), WHELAN'S LAWYER VLADIMIR ZHEREBENKOV, SAYING: "By the way, I would like to draw your attention towards, that Paul is wearing the same clothes today which he wore on the day, when he had been detained.

A pullover from the hotel 'Metropol', room 3324, and a pair of trousers.

" Whelan's lawyer has said his client was framed and that he was given a flash drive by an acquaintance that he thought contained holiday photos, but that actually held classified information.

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian), WHELAN'S LAWYER VLADIMIR ZHEREBENKOV, SAYING: "His acquaintance, whom he had known for ten years and whom he regarded as a friend, as he said during the trial - he planted that top-secret information into his trousers." Whelan was in court on Thursday to appeal against the extension of his custody until Aug.

29.

But the court ruled against him.

If found guilty of espionage, he could face up to 20 years in jail.




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