NPR

American Held In Russia Unwittingly Got Thumb Drive With State Secrets, Lawyer Says

When a Russian citizen handed him a memory stick, Paul Whelan thought it contained travel snapshots, his lawyer told reporters. Whelan was denied bail at his first court appearance.
Paul Whelan, the American who has been detained by Russia on suspicion of espionage, stands in a glass cage for a hearing in Moscow on Tuesday. Source: Sefa Karacan

Before Paul Whelan was detained in Moscow and accused of spying, he was given a thumb drive that he thought held photos of Russian churches but actually contained "state secrets," his lawyer said Tuesday. And Whelan didn't even look at the drive, according to the lawyer, because he was taken into custody immediately.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
MoviePass Has Officially Shut Down, And We Don't Know If There Will Be A Sequel
The service announced Friday that it would be suspending service for an undefined amount of time.
NPR3 min readPolitics
Mugabe's State Funeral Proceeds, But His Burial Plan Has Been Mired In Controversy
Zimbabwe's longtime president Robert Mugabe was honored with a state funeral on Saturday — put on by the president and military leaders who had forced him out of office just two years ago.
NPR3 min read
'Don't You Forget About' This Charming, Deliciously Dramatic Romance
Mhairi McFarlane's latest follows the unfortunate, aimless Georgina as she deals with her father's death, a bad boyfriend and a worse job — until her first love unexpectedly walks back into her life.