Russian court extends detention of Canadian-born American accused of spying

A Russian court has extended the arrest for a Canadian-born former U.S. marine who faces espionage charges.

Former U.S. marine Paul Whelan says he's victim of 'abuses and harassment' in prison

Russia's FSB security service has been granted a request to keep Canadian-born former U.S. marine Paul Whelan, 48, in pretrial custody until the end of August. (Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press)

A Russian court has extended the arrest for a former U.S. marine who faces espionage charges.

The court ruled on Friday to keep Michigan resident Paul Whelan, who also holds British, Irish and Canadian citizenship, behind bars for three more months.

Whelan told reporters in court that he has been threatened and subjected to "abuses and harassment" in prison.

Russia's FSB (Federal Security Service) had asked a court to keep Whelan in pretrial detention for another three months. An extension of the same length was granted on Feb. 22.

Whelan was arrested in a hotel room in the Russian capital on Dec. 28 and charged with espionage, which carries up to 20 years in prison in Russia.

His lawyer has said his client was handed a flash drive that had on it classified information he didn't know about.

Whelan was born in Ottawa to British parents and moved to the U.S. as a child.

When he was arrested, he was director of global security and investigations for Michigan-based automotive parts-maker BorgWarner.


With files from CBC News