Novi man accused of being spy in Russia meets with UK Embassy officials, brother says

Paul Whelan detained in Russia for more than month

Paul Whelan (WDIV)
Paul Whelan (WDIV) (Whelan Family via CNN)

NOVI, Mich. – A Novi man detained in Russia on accusations of being a spy spoke with U.K. Embassy officials, according to his brother.

Paul Whelan met with U.K. Embassy officials Thursday for the first time, according to Whelan's brother.

According to last week's update, Russian officials have been stonewalling the U.S., UK, Canadian and Irish governments about the case.

Whelan has been in Russian custody for 38 days, and his brother expressed concern that Whelan is "likely to languish" until the Russian government can state a case.

Consular access is important because it ensures Whelan's health is being maintained and his rights are being respected, his brother said.

The update also indicates Whelan has been visited by officials from the U.S., Irish and Canadian embassies and is scheduled to visit U.S. Embassy officials Tuesday.

Whelan also spoke with a prison doctor about medical concerns and received messages from his family, his brother said.

You can read the full update from David Whelan below.

"Paul was visited by UK Embassy staff on Thursday, January 31st. This was the first visit by UK representatives since they requested access at the beginning of January. It is the 4th consular visit Paul has received since being wrongfully detained in Russia. He was visited by the U.S. Embassy (1/2/2019), the Irish Embassy (1/16/2019), and the Canadian Embassy (1/24/2019). The U.S. Embassy has been granted a visit by the Russian government to see Paul on Tuesday, February 5th.

"UK Embassy staff were able to give Paul messages from his family and receive instructions to pass on to family members. They also noted that the prison staff appear to have responded to Paul's medical concerns, providing requested medications and allowing him to consult with a prison doctor.

"Paul's defense lawyers are scheduled to visit him today (2/4/2019).

"We appreciate the efforts by the UK Embassy to see Paul last week, and the coordinated efforts of all of the embassies since his wrongful arrest. This continued monitoring of his health is important to ensure his well-being while he is imprisoned. We continue to hope that diplomatic efforts at levels above this consular support are taking place in order to free Paul as soon as possible."

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