'I was set up:' Paul Whelan yells in Russian courtroom during hearing on espionage charges

Whelan calls charges against him 'garbage'

Whelan back in Russian court on espionage charges

MOSCOW – A Novi man has been jailed in Moscow, Russia, for more than eight months after being charged with spying. He was told Tuesday that he must remain in custody for the time being.

That decision came after a noisy hearing in a Russian courtroom, where Whelan called the charges against him "garbage."

"I appreciate the support," Whelan said. "They know that this is garbage. Everyone in the West knows this is garbage."

Whelan was arrested last December in Moscow and charged with espionage. During his months in custody, he claims he was injured by doctors and held in isolation.

He's a Novi resident who heads global security for auto supplier Borg-Warner. Whelan has traveled to Russia for years and was in Moscow for a wedding.

On Tuesday, in the courtroom where a court denied his appeal to end his detention Whelan said an old friend, a Russian security officer, planted a flash drive on him and set him up to be arrested.

"I did not commit a crime. I went to the Kremlin in the morning. I went back to change my clothes for the wedding. A person turned up in my room, put something in my pocket and then I was arrested," Whelan said.

Russian authorities said Whelan was caught with state secrets in his possession. Whelan has citizenship not only in the U.S. but also in Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. He is appealing to all four governments to help him.

About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.