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The Latest: US wants access to American detained in Moscow

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Paul Whelan, the former U.S. Marine detained in Russia on espionage charges (all times local):

12 p.m.

U.S. officials are seeking answers about Moscow’s arrest of a Michigan man on spying charges, and now the Russian government says it’s allowed Paul Whelan to have access to U.S. consular representatives.

A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Minister is quoted by state news agency Tass and private agency Interfax as saying access was granted Wednesday.

She couldn’t immediately be reached for additional details by The Associated Press.

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Whelan is head of global security for a Michigan-based auto parts supplier. He was arrested Friday.

In announcing the arrest three days later, the Russian Federal Security Service said Whelan was caught “during an espionage operation,” but gave no details.

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10:55 a.m.

The Marine Corps says the American detained in Russia on espionage charges was convicted in a 2008 court-martial on charges related to larceny.

Michigan resident Paul N. Whelan’s service record was released Wednesday by the Marine Corps at the Pentagon and shows he joined the Marine Reserves in 1994 and rose to the rank of staff sergeant in 2004. Whelan was an administrative clerk and administrative chief and deployed for the war against Iraq for several months in 2004 and 2006.

He was convicted at a special court-martial in January 2008 and given a bad-conduct discharge in December 2008 at the rank of private. Details of the larceny charges were not released.

Whelan’s last place of duty was Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California.

Whelan was arrested Friday in Moscow, where his brother says he was attending a wedding. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) says the U.S. hopes to soon get access to him.

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8 a.m.

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.”

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12:05 a.m.

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.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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