Whelan slightly ill, but no complaints about jail conditions: monitoring commission

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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. US national Paul Whelan, sentenced for espionage against Russia, has reported slight health problems, in particular an allergic cough, but has no complaints about his jail conditions, Chairman of the Public Monitoring Commission of Mordovia, Valery Krutov, told TASS after visiting the prison where Whelan is an inmate.

“We visited the prison. He has no complaints, he did not express any wishes and shows understanding, he is also hoping that a meeting between the Russian and US presidents will bring about his release, through a swap and he will go home,” Krutov said. “He believes that this will happen, he even joked. There are certain health issues — his elbow hurts, and he has allergic cough,” he added.

Earlier, Whelan asked for a possibility to have an English-speaking medic. “Now, there is an interpreter with him, a young man, he uses his help with the permission of the prison colony. He also spoke to us through the interpreter,” Krutov explained.

He said that Whelan works at a sewing workshop. “He likes the job, things are okay with him, he is not tired out and understands quite well where he is. He has established relations with the administration and with the inmates,” the chairman of the monitoring commission said. Krutov also specified that he would once again visit the prison in the last half of June.

Former US marine Paul Whelan, who also holds British, Canadian, and Irish citizenship, was detained by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on December 28, 2018, in Moscow while on an alleged spy mission. The Moscow City Court found Whelan guilty of spying against Russia and sentenced him to 16 years in a high-security prison.