01:20 GMT16 May 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US citizen Paul Whelan, who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in Russia on espionage charges, will not appeal the court's ruling and will wait for the exchange instead, Whelan's lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, said on Tuesday.

    "Whelan will not appeal, he does not believe in the Russian justice system. His exchange is being discussed now," the lawyer said.

    Whelan's defence is not a party to the talks, the lawyer said.

    "We know about the talks, everyone is talking about them unofficially but we do not participate in this," Zherebnkov said.

    Whelan's defence has suggested that Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service was considering exchanging him for Viktor Bout or Konstantin Yaroshenko, who are in prison in the US.

    Whelan has not pleaded guilty. His defence claims he was a victim of a provocation.

    The Federal Security service detained Whelan in late 2018. Full details of the case have not been officially disclosed.

    court ruling, espionage, Paul Whelan, Russia
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