Ex-US marine Paul Whelan, sentenced to 16 years on spying charges in Russia

Ex-US marine Paul Whelan has been sentenced to 16 years hard labour on spying charges in Russia, the BBC reports.

He was arrested in a hotel room in Moscow 18 months ago with a USB flash drive which security officers say contained state secrets.

The Moscow City Court found him guilty of receiving classified information.

Whelan – who is also a citizen of the UK, Canada and Ireland – has previously denied the charge and said he thought the drive contained holiday photos.

He denounced the closed trial as a “sham” ahead of the verdict.

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