June 15, 2020 / 3:55 PM / a month ago

Russia defends 16-year jail term for ex-U.S. Marine on spying charges

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that a 16-year jail term handed down by a Moscow court to former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan was neither unfair nor too harsh and that he would have been given a longer sentence in the United States.

Earlier on Monday the court found Whelan guilty of spying for the United States. The U.S. ambassador to Moscow called his sentence an egregious violation of human rights that would harm ties between the two countries.

Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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