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Russia launches espionage case against US citizen

The American is suspected of gathering data on “biological topics,” Russia’s Federal Security Service says

A criminal case on espionage has been launched against a US citizen, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced on Thursday.

“The American is suspected of collecting intelligence data on biological topics, directed against the security of Russia,” the agency said in a short statement.

The FBS didn’t reveal any further details about the case.

Espionage charges may carry a penalty of between 10 and 20 years behind bars, according to Russian law.

Former US Marine Paul Whelan is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence in Russia after being found guilty of espionage. He was sentenced in 2020 after being arrested two years earlier with a USB device containing sensitive information on him.

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The American’s defense claimed he was set up by the FSB and given a flash drive, on which he expected to see photos from a tourist trip. Besides his US citizenship, Whelan also holds British, Canadian, and Irish passports.

January 19, 2023 at 01:55PM

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