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US Officials to meet again with Michigan man in Russion prison for espionage

Flickr User Julien Barrier

US Embassy officials are reportedly scheduled to meet again Tuesday with an American imprisoned in Russia on espionage charges.

Family members of Paul Whelan say the Russian government still refuses to lay out the specifics of its case against him.

Russian officials detained Michigan native Paul Whelan at the end of December.

His court-appointed attorney says Whelan is accused of receiving a flash drive containing – quote – “state secrets” that Whelan allegedly thought were files about his vacation.

But his brother, David Whelan, says the Russian government has not offered any evidence of espionage, beyond saying that he was caught “red-handed.”

He argues his brother, a U-S citizen born in Canada to British parents, needs those nations to negotiate his release, or he could languish in prison indefinitely.

Some experts say Paul Whelan could be intended as trade bait for Russians held in the US.