The Canadian Embassy visited Paul on Thursday, November 14. It was their first visit to see him since August and his first consular visit since October 17. The consular staff noted that he appears to continue to lose weight and confirmed that there still had been no independent medical assessment of Paul's health. Paul has been imprisoned by the Russian government for more than 320 days.
Paul's lawyers also met with him this week. His English-speaking lawyer had been out of the country for nearly two weeks, so any translation with Paul would have been done through the FSB's interpreter. Paul noted to the Canadian staff that the documentary evidence was not being provided in English. We have seen Mr. Zherebenkov's statements to the Russian media that a trial may happen next May.
We are concerned with the new leak from what the FSB says is a secret case, as captured by this Kommersant piece [ https://www.kommersant.ru/
doc/4162256 ]. There is no way to corroborate anonymous source "Y" on a secret case. The story foreshadows what Paul is likely to experience with all of the trial evidence, which is that it will be secret and unrebutted or it will be leaked and uncorroborated.
Paul and Ilya Yatsenko interacted numerous times - you'd have to ask Paul or Ilya how often. It would be unsurprising for audio or video to exist, particularly if Ilya was preparing to set Paul up. For example, Paul used Facetime when Ilya was stationed in Ukraine with the FSB in 2015 [https://photos.app.goo.gl/
DMtrtg94tZHwpUM86] We may never know what audio or video recordings the prosecution purports to have unless they leak. But Paul will not have an opportunity to challenge their veracity or expose media that has been tampered with. For those who still think Paul's a spy, tradecraft like emailing his parents about contacts should persuade you otherwise.
Similarly, Paul did purchase an inscribed copy of exiled KGB Maj. Gen. Kalugin's memoir for Ilya in 2018. [https://photos.app.goo.gl/
AmYy13FRQTgaP8vX7] Paul and our parents had seen one of his presentations back in 2010 [one like these: https://www.spymuseum. org/host-an-event/spy-speaker- series/oleg-kalugin/ ] when Gen. Kalugin came through Michigan. But Paul had already known Ilya for nearly 10 years by the time he bought the book. The book was a Christmas present for a fanboy, and would have been given to Ilya on the visit on which Paul was arrested. The Kommersant's author is misled by "Y" in suggesting it was to get into an agent's good graces.
We realize that the leaks reflect the prosecutor's weak case. As Mr. Zherebenkov has noted in the past, there is only one person, no doubt this "Y", who asserts Paul is a spy. We are confident Mr. Zherebenkov and Ms. Karlova will do their best for him at the detention appeal tomorrow [11/19] and during the many months ahead. It is unfortunate that Paul must go through this travesty of a justice system.