Russian media is reporting that the Supreme Court of Mordovia will be hearing Paul's request for a prisoner transfer back to the United States. According to the reports and his lawyers, the hearing was scheduled for September 27 at 10am. His lawyers sent the motion to the Court on September 2d, after the original motion, filed in Moscow, was rejected on jurisdictional grounds.
[The Supreme Court of Mordovia will consider the issue of Whelan's extradition to the United States on September 27 <https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4976889> ]
[The Moscow City Court refused to consider Whelan's petition for expulsion to serving his sentence in the United States <https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4958233>]
Russian media are also reporting the hearing has been canceled.
[The Supreme Court of Mordovia canceled the consideration on September 27 of the petition for the expulsion of Whelan to the United States <https://www.interfax-russia.ru/volga/main/verhovnyy-sud-mordovii-otmenil-rassmotrenie-27-sentyabrya-hodataystva-o-vydvorenii-uilana-v-ssha>]
Things are obviously perilous for anyone caught up in the Russian government's paranoia surrounding espionage. I was sorry to see that others ensnared in this arbitrary detention treason machine, Ivan Safronov and Katrina Tsurkan, have lost their lawyer. Human rights lawyer Ivan Pavlov - who we communicated with in early 2019 about Paul's case - has had to emigrate from Russia for his own safety.
[Lawyer Ivan Pavlov, accused of disclosing the secret of the investigation, left the Russian Federation <https://www.interfax.ru/russia/788958>]
A number of journalists have asked me about the transfer and possible outcomes. A prisoner transfer allows Russia to launder false convictions and wrongful detentions into prison sentences in countries that actually honor the rule of law. But there is a dearth of expertise on what, exactly, might happen to Paul if a Mordovian court approves a transfer and the US accepts the transfer. For example, this State document suggests Paul would be immediately eligible for parole. But we have not been able to get a clear answer from anyone in the US government about what the possible outcomes are.
[INTERNATIONAL PRISONER TRANSFER PROGRAM 7 FAM 486.2 Determining Release, Parole <https://fam.state.gov/fam/07fam/07fam0480.html>
In the meantime, we continue to remain focused on Paul's health and well-being. The prison monitors visited him in the last week or so [date unclear] and reported that his condition is much the same. His elbow injury from his labor camp work continues essentially untreated. Paul was given some sort of medication but is unclear what it is, since he still doesn't speak Russian or read medical labels. He is able to phone our parents but must make a written request every day for each call. It seems as though he's limited to one call a day, so that, for example, he cannot speak to our parents if he speaks to his lawyers or the US Embassy.
[American Whelan complained to the PMC about a sore elbow, sleep disturbance and the appointment of medications <https://www.interfax-russia.ru/volga/news/uilan-pozhalovalsya-onk-na-bolnoy-lokot-narushenie-sna-i-naznachenie-medpreparatov>]
We hope that the confusion shown by the Supreme Court of Mordovia and the Russian legal system generally isn't being mirrored by the US government. It would be good if someone in the State Department or Justice became familiar with Paul's case and the potential outcomes of a transfer before it happens. There's no evidence of this, but hope springs eternal.