MOSCOW — The U.S. ambassador to Russia has had a chance to speak with the Michigan man arrested and detained in Moscow.
Jon Huntsman met with 48-year-old Paul Whelan from Novi, several days after he was taken into custody on suspicion of espionage.
Huntsman said he couldn’t discuss the case in detail but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. would be demanding Whelan’s release if no evidence is shown.
Whelan’s family denies the claims, saying the former marine was in Russia for a friend’s wedding and has traveled to a number of foreign countries since taking a job as a global security expert.
The former marine was dishonorably discharged a decade ago after being convicted of larceny.
He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.