The U.S. citizen arrested in Moscow on spying charges is a retired Marine and was visiting Russia for a wedding of a fellow former Marine at a hotel.
Paul Whelan was staying with the wedding party for a fellow former Marine at the Metropol hotel in Moscow, sources said on Tuesday.
His brother David Whelan said in a statement on Twitter that his brother is innocent and his rights must be respected.
Russia’s state security service said Paul Whelan had been detained on Friday without providing any details of the nature of his alleged espionage activities.
Russia had notified the U.S. state department that a US citizen had been detained on spying charges.
A U.S. State Department representative said Moscow is under
the obligation of the Vienna Convention for the consular access to the detained
Russian law, espionage can carry between 10 to 20 years in prison.