Whelan, 49, of
He remains in a prison cell at
“He was caught red-handed,” Russian Foreign Minister
It’s a claim his family denies.
“Paul thought a friend of 10 years was giving him some photos of his hometown,” on the flash drive, said his twin brother, David Whelan, in an email message. Whelan holds
Since his arrest, Russian authorities are limiting Whelan’s contact with the outside world, but he has been able to communicate some details about the case to his family through his lawyers. Among those details:
The company would not confirm that it sponsored Whelan’s Russian business visa.
“As a general policy
“For over 15 years,
About a year after Paterra made that statement, the
“We are aware of publicly available information indicating that your subsidiaries have provided turbocompressors, fan drives and high performance fans to (Kamaz) Inc. and news reports indicating that
The company responded in a letter later that month, writing: “There were no direct or known indirect sales or exports from
“There are some very good and reasonable questions to be asked from
“Kamaz is a very interesting organization because it is actually headed by a businessman who was the co-chair of
The director general of Kamaz is
The largest shareholder in Kamaz (49.9%) is a government-run defense technology company called
The director general of Rostec is
Rostec was sanctioned by former President
“I’m not suggesting
“The big question in the beginning was and still is, … what, if anything, with respect to the company may have contributed to Paul’s arrest?” Fayhee said. “For example, did somebody visit Paul in
Yet, Fayhee said when he asked
The response surprised him.
“What is clear is that Paul, and the family really deserve more out of
“That’s really at the core of it. The statements made by their lawyer, the fact that they’re not speaking directly with the family is really troubling to say the least.”
Through its spokeswoman,
David Whelan said there’s no indication that his brother’s work for
“We are not aware of
“However, we do think that he was targeted by the Russian police because he was an American businessman. Unfortunately, the FSB appears to have miscalculated whatever result they helped to extort out of Paul’s false arrest. Paul has shared notes through his lawyer that he believes his arrest has some sanctions-related element, but we don’t know why he says that. But there’s no indication it has anything to do with
In recent weeks, bundles of handwritten letters from
“My mum and dad received about 75 letters, in three groups … over the past 10 days or so,” David Whelan said. “They’re handwritten notes from
“We haven’t really learned anything that helps us with seeking his release, but they are comforting for my parents. You can hear his ‘voice’ in them, and a letter can be read and re-read while they wait for his return.”
Since his arrest, Russian authorities have limited Whelan’s access to his lawyers and consular services. He has not received mail or phone calls or the English-language books, including an English-Russian dictionary.
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“Why haven’t Russian officials provided proof? Perhaps it’s lost along with Paul’s mail. Complete lack of evidence + Paul’s isolation = greater likelihood officials will try to get a forced false ‘confession.’ Stop playing games.”
David Whelan said his family is concerned that his brother has been interrogated without the presence of his lawyers or his translator, and noted that his attorneys in
In addition, his brother’s signed Privacy Act Waiver was held up for months by Russian investigators who alleged the document was lost in the mail. And now, a similar delay is keeping the family from getting access to a signed power of attorney, which would grant them the ability to manage his affairs at home and help him choose his own attorney in
“There’s a real concern that … at some point given the isolation, the limited access, a lawyer that doesn’t even speak English, that at some point that affects your psychiatric health,” Fayhee said. “Maybe that’s done to try to extract some kind of confession out of him or to get him to say something on the record so the Russians can then use that as the basis of his continued detention. It’s difficult or impossible to know. But we shouldn’t understate the potential effects of being isolated the way he’s being isolated.”
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Whelan’s next hearing in
“We hope they find this as an opportunity to acknowledge that the allegations … have not been substantiated and that they’ll release him. That would be the appropriate thing to do under the circumstances.
“But the family is prepared also for the possibility that the detention will be extended for another three months in order to further isolate him, in order to extract whatever benefit it is that they’re seeking to achieve whatever goal Paul is being used to achieve.”
In April, the
“There is no doubt in our minds that Paul’s arrest and imprisonment amount to a kidnapping by the Russian police,” David Whelan said. “We hope the new designation will help other Americans avoid the same fate.”
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“We urge the Russian government to guarantee a fair and transparent judicial process without undue delay, in accordance with its international legal obligations,” she said. “We have visited
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