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Ex-US marine arrested on espionage charges says injured by Russian prison guards

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A former US marine who was arrested in Moscow on espionage charges said Friday he had been injured by guards in the prison where he is being held awaiting trial.

“I was injured in the prison… the prison doesn’t want to tell you,” Paul Whelan told journalists from a cage in a Moscow court, which was to decide on whether to extend his provisional detention.

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Whelan arrived in the court handcuffed and escorted by two security guards wearing black masks and plain clothes.

“You can see the treatment,” he said as he entered.

“I am standing here in great pain due to an injury sustained in the prison by the prison guards,” he said later from the cage in the courtroom, looking pale.

He did not say what type of injury he suffered, but his lawyer later said guards made him carry heavy belongings to another cell, exacerbating a hernia.

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Whelan told the judge he needed to go to a hospital to receive suitable care.

The hearing into whether to extend his detention was interrupted when paramedics were called to examine Whelan, but the judge ultimately said hospitalisation was not required.

She ruled to extend his arrest to October 29.

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Whelan’s lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov said after the hearing he expected the trial to start in earnest early next year.

He said Whelan has formally requested an operation, which will be filed through proper channels promptly.

The US Embassy in Moscow has asked the Russian foreign ministry for “immediate consular access” to Whelan to discuss “his serious health allegations,” spokeswoman Andrea Kalan wrote on Twitter.

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Whelan, who also holds Canadian, Irish and British passports, was arrested in December after allegedly receiving state secrets. He risks up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

On Friday he complained none of the documents supplied for the hearing were translated into English, and he was given only two hours to prepare.

“How can I participate in my defence?” he asked.

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“I’m innocent of any charge,” he said.

He maintains he has been framed and that he took a USB drive from an acquaintance thinking it contained holiday photos.

His family said Whelan had been in Moscow for a friend’s wedding.

During an earlier hearing, he made a direct appeal to US President Donald Trump.

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“Mr President — we cannot keep America great unless we aggressively protect and defend citizens wherever they are in the world,” he said.

Whelan is among high-profile detainees mooted for a potential prisoner swap with the United States.


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Ex-prosecutor demands congressional investigation after latest report on the FBI and Brett Kavanaugh

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Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had another allegation of sexual misconduct revealed on Saturday in a bombshell report in The New York Times.

"A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly," the newspaper reported.

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Boris Johnson promises Britain will be like the Incredible Hulk during Brexit negotiations

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday he was making a "huge amount of progress" towards a Brexit deal with the EU, in an interview in which he compared Britain to the Incredible Hulk.

"It's going to take a lot of work between now and October 17" when EU leaders gather for their final summit before Britain's scheduled exit from the bloc, he told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

"But I'm going to go to that summit and I'm going to get a deal, I'm very confident. And if we don't get a deal then we'll come out on October 31."

His comments came ahead of talks with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, in Luxembourg on Monday.

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NYT blasted for ‘spectacularly offensive sentiment’ after tweet illustrating ‘rape culture’

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The results of a 10-month investigation into Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly was published on Saturday.

But attention was taken away from the powerful reporting after the Twitter account of The Times opinion page posted a shocking message.

"Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun," read the tweet.

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