Who is Paul Whelan? 5 things about the Marine still in Russian prison – Hollywood Life +2023

Brittney Griner

view gallery

Credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/Shutterstock

  • Paul Whelan is a former US Marine.
  • He has been jailed in Russia for almost four years on espionage charges, although the US government says they are unfounded.
  • As Brittney Griner was released on Thursday, many are wondering when Paul will be released from Russian custody.

Years ago Brittney Griner was found guilty of drug offenses in Russia, former Marine Paul Whelan, 52, was found guilty of espionage and was behind bars in Russia. On Thursday, December 8, it was revealed that the WBNA star had been released in exchange for an arms dealer Victor fight and was already on his way home to the US, per the Associated Press.

But amid celebrations for her release, cries of frustration rang out from family and friends who had long hoped Paul, who has been in Russia for nearly four years, would also be released. Here’s what you should know about him.

Brittney Griner

Paul worked as a corporate security executive.

At the time of his arrest, Paul was the director of global security and investigations for an international auto parts manufacturer called BorgWarner. The company is based in Michigan. He also worked for a company called Kelly Services, also in Michigan, in global security IT

He’s a twin.

Paul has a twin brother named David Whelana sister named Elizabethand another brother named Andrew. You grew up partly in Michigan. For his part, Paul’s twin has made himself available for interviews. Per NBC4 New York, David said in a statement that he was “so happy” for Brittney but like Paul was disappointed not to have released his brother. “The Biden administration made the right decision in bringing Ms. Griner home and making the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn’t going to happen,” he said, noting the White House reports said the family had given advance notice of Brittney’s release.

And in a 2019 interview with the Detroit FreePress, David tried to explain why Paul had so many passes. “It was probably more than just a genealogical interest,” he said. “It’s one of those things where you start with two, so getting two extra doesn’t seem that weird.”

Paul is deeply frustrated

In an interview from the Russian penal colony where he is serving his time, Paul expressed his frustration at not being released with Brittney. “I am extremely disappointed that more has not been done to secure my release as we approach the four year anniversary of my arrest,” he said CNN his arrest on December 28, 2018. “I was arrested for a crime that never happened. I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here.”

Corresponding CNN above PERSONS, He further claimed that he was “made to believe that things are moving in the right direction”. He also thought that “something was going to happen pretty soon” regarding his imprisonment. Per NBC4 New York, President Joe Bident said the US would ‘never give up’ the fight to bring Paul home. “This wasn’t a choice of which American to bring home,” he said, according to the outlet. “Unfortunately, Russia is treating Paul’s case differently than Brittney’s for completely illegitimate reasons.”

He could spend up to 16 years in the Russian penal colony.

While he was originally jailed in 2018, it wasn’t until 2020 that Paul was sentenced to a whopping 16 years in Russian prison for crimes the US and Paul said didn’t happen. The US government has also classified him as “wrongly imprisoned,” per NBC4 New York. He reportedly attended a wedding for another marine that was to be held at the Hotel Metropol Moscow. The security director was arrested in his hotel room after reportedly spending time with a Russian national and, according to his lawyer, being handed a flash drive that contained “secret” information he didn’t know was on the drive were included.

Paul was born in Canada

Though indelibly linked to the United States, Paul Whelan has citizenship in no fewer than four countries, according to his official Wikipedia Side. He was born in Ottowa, Canada and his parents are British with Irish roots. Aside from his apparent US citizenship, the ex-Marine also holds British, Irish and Canadian citizenship. It is also known that he travels a lot, often to Russia.

Click here to subscribe to our free daily HollywoodLife newsletter to get the hottest celebrity news.

Leave a Comment