U.S. businessman Gene Spector, who was already in a Russian prison for a bribery conviction, has been newly apprehended on suspicion of “espionage,” as reported by Russian state media sources on Thursday.
U.S. Businessman Gene Spector From Russia
Details regarding the specific espionage charges remain undisclosed due to their classified nature, leading to a secret hearing, as reported by Interfax.
U.S. businessman Gene Spector’s prior legal entanglement involved pleading guilty in 2021 to facilitating a bribe for a Russian deputy prime minister’s aide during his tenure as the chairman of the Medpolimerprom group of companies in Russia. This bribe reportedly covered expenses for the aide’s trips to Thailand and the Dominican Republic. Consequently, he received a four-year prison sentence.
However, U.S. businessman Gene Spector’s case was retried on a technicality, and in September 2022, he was issued a revised sentence of three and a half years in confinement.
U.S. Businessman Gene Spector’s Arrest
This recent arrest transpires amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia, particularly regarding the conflict in Ukraine, and coincides with U.S. efforts to secure the release of two other American citizens incarcerated in Russia.
Paul Whelan, currently serving a 16-year prison term, and Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter detained in March on unverified espionage charges, are both considered “wrongfully detained” by the U.S., prompting calls for their immediate release.
However, the U.S. stance on U.S. businessman Gene Spector’s detention has not been explicitly characterized as “wrongful,” according to CBS News.