MOSCOW, June 20 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal filed by a foreign citizen Paul Whelan charged with espionage against extension of his detention until August 29, a RAPSI correspondent reports from the courtroom.

His detention was prolonged for three months by Moscow’s Lefortovsky District Court in late May. Whelan in his appeal petitioned for release.

Earlier, according to a lawyer for the defendant, 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.