Saturday, 08 August, 2020

Former Marine sentenced to 9 years in Russian prison

Reuters  MAXIM SHEMETOV Former U.S. Marine Reed attends a court hearing in Moscow Reuters MAXIM SHEMETOV Former U.S. Marine Reed attends a court hearing in Moscow
Deanna Wagner | 02 August, 2020, 13:22

The embassy sent representatives to each of Reed's court hearings, but generally adopted a more restrained public posture toward the trial than it did with the Whelan case - which saw Sullivan frequently take strongly worded public stands against the proceedings. The Reeds moved to Hood County seven or eight years ago.

'There is also a possibility that he may have been given other substances without his knowledge, ' a statement put out by his family said.

"We want our son home, I don't care how", Mr. Reed said in an interview.

Mr. Reed, a Texas native, joined the U.S. Marine Corps after college and received an honorable discharge upon completing his service, according to a website set up by his supporters. Once there, the police told Tsibulnik to come back around 9 a.m.to pick Reed up. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying he remembers nothing of the incident.

Prosecutors accused Reed of grabbing a police officer who was behind the wheel of a vehicle after he was detained on August 15.

Reed's attorneys said it was their position that no evidence exists to substantiate the charges against Reed, that he has been wrongfully detained and they urged Russian officials to agree with their stance, the release said.

Speaking before the judge, the officers themselves have claimed to have no memory of key moments in the journey, and have retracted parts of their statements on several occasions or failed to answer simple questions from Reed's defense team.

Berlin protesters rally against virus restrictions
Jan Redmann, regional head of Merkel's Christian Democrats in the eastern state of Brandenburg, also took aim at the marchers. Police tweeted they had launched legal proceedings against organizers for not respecting virus hygiene rules.

Reed is one of several American citizens convicted in Russian Federation in recent years on charges that their families and, in some cases, the United States government have said they have no basis.

Still, Sullivan said the case was "not a good story for US-Russia relations", while dismissing the evidence presented by the prosecutors as "flimsy and preposterous" and denouncing the whole process as a "theater of absurd".

Following the verdict, the elder Reed said was planning to appeal directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the trial which he said was "completely corrupt".

Meanwhile, both the Russian and USA media have designated Reed as another candidate for a potential prisoner swap between Russia and the US.

The case has attracted attention owing to the lengthy sentence faced by a United States citizen and speculation in Russian and USA media that Reed could become part of a prisoner swap.

The suspicion among USA officials is the Russian government is using Reed, along with Marine veteran Paul Whelan, as potential bargaining chips for Russian nationals convicted of crimes in the U.S.