The arrest of an American in Russia final August resembles the case of Brittney Griner.

The arrest of an American in Russia final August resembles the case of Brittney Griner.

With the highlight at the case of Brittney Griner, the American basketball megastar who has been detained in Russia since February, the sentencing of a former U.S. diplomat in Russia final month on equivalent drug fees has his family members additionally pleading for him to be allowed to go back house.

Marc Fogel, an English trainer who had up to now labored for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, was once convicted of drug smuggling, in keeping with his circle of relatives and Russian information shops. He was once sentenced in June — through the similar court docket this is dealing with Ms. Griner’s case — to fourteen years in a high-security penal colony.

Mr. Fogel, 60, labored on the Anglo-American Faculty of Moscow and was once arrested in August when customs officials at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow discovered marijuana in his baggage after he arrived from New York. The hashish, in keeping with a remark from the Russian Inner Ministry, have been packaged in a container sporting touch lenses, and hashish oil was once additionally present in e-cigarette cartridges.

In a remark shared through Mr. Fogel’s spouse, Jane, his circle of relatives mentioned that he have been sporting lower than 20 grams of marijuana, which they mentioned have been beneficial to him through a physician in the US to lend a hand deal with a long-term, debilitating spinal situation.

Mr. Fogel pleaded accountable to fees of smuggling and illegally possessing, transporting and generating medication, in keeping with the circle of relatives remark, which known as the 14-year sentence “grossly disproportionate” when compared with different Russian court docket circumstances involving equivalent amounts of marijuana.

Russia’s Inner Ministry has mentioned that Mr. Fogel and his spouse had diplomatic standing till Would possibly 2021, and that Mr. Fogel will have used that standing to open a drug-smuggling direction into Moscow. The remark from his circle of relatives known as the ones allegations “outrageous and blatantly false” and mentioned that Mr. Fogel had “an exemplary monitor report as a trainer.”

“It’s transparent that Marc is the sufferer of a politically motivated prosecution designed to stimulate anti-American xenophobia some of the Russian inhabitants,” it added.

Mr. Fogel has no longer had consular get admission to since November, in keeping with the circle of relatives remark. It mentioned he had since been recognized with nervousness and despair right through his detention, and it accused the Russian government of ignoring repeated requests through Mr. Fogel for scientific help. Despite the fact that Mr. Fogel’s Russian legal professional had asked scientific data from his detention facility, they have been informed that none exist, the remark mentioned.

Not like in Ms. Griner’s case, the Biden management has no longer publicly labeled Mr. Fogel as “wrongfully detained,” a designation that might transfer his case below the supervision of the particular presidential envoy for hostage affairs.

A spokesperson for the State Division mentioned in an e mail that U.S. officers have been conscious about and tracking the detention of an American citizen in Russia, however they declined to remark additional, mentioning privateness issues.

Talking outdoor the court the place Ms. Griner’s trial was once going down on Thursday, Elizabeth Rood, the chargé d’affaires on the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, mentioned the Biden management was once dedicated to bringing house “all U.S. voters wrongfully detained.” Ms. Rood made no particular point out of Mr. Fogel, and U.S. officers have no longer commented publicly on his sentencing.

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