Day 294 - Paul Whelan - Lefortovo Prison Moscow - Update October 18, 2019 - David Urban lobbies for Paul

Paul Whelan has spent 9 and a half months in Russian prison and his detention is almost certain to be extended at the end of October.  His 4th hearing will occur immediately before his current detention period ends on October 29[best guess: 10/25].  Since Paul will remain imprisoned until trial, his detention is likely to stretch past his one year anniversary at Lefortovo [12/28/2019].
The US Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Jon Huntsman, left Moscow 2 weeks ago [10/03/2019] and his last official act was to see Paul one last time [10/02/2019]. [ ]  We appreciate the extraordinary involvement Ambassador Huntsman took in Paul's case.  This visit confirmed that Paul's health remains precarious, and the Russian Ministry of Health doctors have agreed he needs surgery.  But no-one communicates to Paul in English to explain what will happen or even what procedure they will perform.  The prison has failed to provide medical records, despite repeated requests by Paul.
Ambassador Huntsman reiterated to reporters that no evidence has been publicly presented.  As you can see in the BBC's look at Paul's case [], the details around the setup show how weak the FSB's case is.  It's no wonder that Paul's lawyer, Mr. Zherebenkov, has continually stated that the evidence does not support the charges. [ ]  
My sister will be returning to Washington in November, as we watch the House and Senate resolutions move through the legislative process.  We are grateful to have the assistance of David Urban, who has volunteered to advocate on Paul's behalf within the US government.  [] [ ]  We hope he can have conversations with the State Department and others that we might not be able to have ourselves.  The solution to Paul's dilemma runs through the US White House and Executive branch agencies.
Paul continues to receive consular visits during this evidentiary review period of the Russian legal process.  The UK has asked the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to allow a visit and we hope they will see Paul shortly.  The four nations - US, UK, Canada, and Ireland - are pressing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for information on Paul's medical condition, and for him to be allowed to communicate by telephone.  We appreciate their continued efforts as Paul approaches his one year mark in Russian prison.