Etcetera

Half a Year Later, Novi Exec Paul Whelan's Family Still Awaits Next Spy Case Step by Moscow


June 04, 2019, 9:18 AM

Relatives of Paul Whelan, a 49-year-old suburban Detroiter, feel as though they're characters in a John Le Carré novel without momentum.

Paul Whelan of Novi was arrested Dec. 28 at a Moscow hotel and accused of espionage. He's an Iraq war veteran who has worked since 2017 on the corporate security staff of auto supplier BorgWarner, based in Auburn Hills. 

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Paul Whelan is an ex-Marine who was court-martialed in 2008 for attempted larceny and dereliction of duty. (Photo: Facebook)

The case appears stalled, an Associated Press update says: 

Despite extensive U.S. efforts on his behalf, Paul Whelan is entangled in a Russian legal system so opaque that the evidence against him remains unknown. His family has had only limited contact with him and no idea when, or if, he will be released. 

"Without any information, we can't have any certainty that anything is happening at all," said his brother David Whelan in an interview with The Associated Press.

The Whelan case, which at first seemed to many like a possible Moscow tit-for-tat response to the arrest of Russian gun-rights activist Maria Butina in the United States, has become a lesson on the limits of American power to help a U.S. citizen charged with a serious crime in a hostile country. . . .

A Russian news site said Whelan — who was born in Canada to British parents — was arrested with a flash drive containing government secrets. His Russian lawyer acknowledges he had the storage device, but that the American did not know what was on it.

A court late last month extended the Michiganian's detention at Moscow's Lefortovo Prison until at least Aug. 29.

Whelan grew up in the Ann Arbor area and graduated in 1988 from Huron High School. 

Earlier coverage:


Read more:  Associated Press


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