Russia on Friday said American Paul Whelan, who was arrested last month in Moscow, has been formally charged with espionage.
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Whelan was charged under Article 276 of Russia’s criminal code, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters at a televised briefing.
Whelan, a former United States Marine, was detained Dec. 28 by Russia’s domestic intelligence agency, the FSB, which accused him of espionage. His Russian lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, has said Whelan contests the charge and intends to plead not guilty.