MOSCOW, March 14 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Thursday upheld a lower court’s decision to extend detention for Paul Whelan charged with espionage, the court’s press service told RAPSI.

Whealan will therefore stay in detention until May 28. The appeal hearing was held behind closed doors.

Earlier, according to the defendant’s lawyer, Whelan was found sane.

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. His lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov has confirmed this information.