Former U.S. marine Paul Whelan, who was sentenced to 16 years in a Russian prison last week on spying charges, hopes to be freed as part of a prisoner swap with the United States, his lawyer said on Tuesday, Interfax news agency reported. Whelan will therefore not appeal his espionage conviction but will instead hold consultations with Western diplomats about the merits of asking President Vladimir Putin to pardon him, the lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, was quoted as saying. Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained by agents from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in a Moscow hotel room on Dec. 28, 2018.
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