Former Marine arrested on espionage charges in Russia appears to be a hostage taken to exchange for Russian woman who plead guilty in US
The case looks like a set up where evidence was planted on Whelan shortly after he arrived.
Russia formally charges US Marine vet Paul Whelan with spying after he was 'caught red-handed in Moscow hotel room with flash drive containing names of secret agents'
Russian investigative agencies have indicted US Marine veteran Paul Whelan for spying. Whelan's defense team have asked that the 48-year-old be released on bail.
...That certainly appears to be the case.
Minutes after receiving a flash drive in his five-star hotel room in Moscow, armed Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives moved in and detained him, reported Rosbalt news service, which has close links to the security services.
The first of several Russian news agency reports said that Whelan 'received an electronic carrier in his hotel room with a list of all employees of one of the secret Russian departments.'
'Five minutes after the transfer, FSB officers broke into the room and detained a suspect of espionage.
'On examination, they found a flash card with secret information.'
Experts on the Kremlin have speculated that Whelan's arrest was bogus, and an attempt to create leverage against America in the case of Maria Butina, a Russian woman who recently pleaded guilty in the US to acting as an illegal foreign agent.