MOSCOW, February 22 (RAPSI) – An expert evaluation of the mental condition of Paul Whelan charged with espionage had shown that he was competent to stand trial, Vladimir Zherebenkov, Whelan’s lawyer, told RAPSI on Friday.

According to the lawyer, the investigation has been extended to May 28. The court is to examine the petition filed by investigators seeking to extend Whelan’s detention up to the same date this Friday.

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 on December 28.