13:35 GMT07 May 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Paul Whelan will not appeal the Russian court’s decision to sentence him to 16 years in prison on charges of espionage and now there can only be a political resolution of his case, the Whelan family said in a statement.

    “Paul has decided not to appeal his sentence,” the statement said.

    The Whelan family said the court’s decision is a “travesty of justice” and from this point on “there can only be a political resolution” of Paul’s case.

    “We hope that those who can bring Paul home will do so as swiftly as possible,” the statement said.

    Paul, who besides holding US citizenship is also a citizen of Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom, has maintained he is innocent throughout the judicial process and pleaded not guilty.

    His legal defence team claims Paul was a victim of a provocation.

    In December of 2018, Russia’s Federal Security service detained Paul Whelan in Moscow on charges of espionage.

    He denied the charges and said he came to Russia to attend a friend's wedding.

    court, family, Paul Whelan, U.S
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