Day 53 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update Feb 19, 2019 - lawyer Zherebenkov meeting

Staff from the Canadian Embassy visited Paul on Thursday, February 14th for about 90 minutes.  They were able to confirm that his health and situation is unchanged since the U.S. consular visit the previous week.  Paul has mailed the Privacy Act Waiver to the U.S. Embassy.  It has not yet arrived [as of 0900 Eastern, 2/19/2019].

The Canadian consular staff also took Paul a shorter, translated Power of Attorney to see if he will be allowed to sign this iteration, since he was not allowed to sign one presented for him earlier.  Our family continues to need a signed Power of Attorney in order to be able to help handle his personal life while he is unable to do so.  He has not yet received letters that had been brought to the prison on a previous visit, as they are working through the prison's review process.

Paul was able to meet with Mr. Zherebenkov and Ms. Karlova on Friday, February 15th, to discuss defense strategy.  It is their second visit this month, although the first (February 4th) was ended after about 15 minutes due to a family emergency in one of the lawyer's families.  They appealed denial of his bail but the denial was found appropriate by a second court in a decision issued on February 8.  They appealed this decision on February 12.

Paul's detention will once again be under review in late February, as is required by Russian law every 2 months.  Paul will have been wrongfully detained for 2 months on February 28th, but we do not know what day the hearing will be held yet.

 ---- Media Q&A ----

A question came in from a couple of reporters after my last update, so I thought I'd share the same answer with everyone:

- We have had regular, probably daily, interactions with State Department staff from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and American Citizen Services in Washington D.C.  Our family has not had any other interactions or communications with State Department staff other than Embassy and American Citizens Services staff since Paul's arrest.