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.

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