MOSCOW, January 22 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Tuesday denied bail to jailed Paul Whelan charged with spying in Russia, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.

The court therefore dismissed the defendant’s appeal and upheld his detention.

The hearing was held behind closed doors because of the case secrecy.

Whelan is a citizen of the U.S., Canada, Ireland and Great Britain. He is the chief safety officer of BorgWarner, an American worldwide automotive industry components and parts supplier. The foreigner was arrested in late 2018 during “a spying mission”, according to the Federal Security Service. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

The Foreign Ministry of Russia reported earlier that papers classified as state secret were seized from Whelan during his arrest. His lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov confirmed this information on Tuesday.