Serhat TUNAR -TDO- The brother of a US citizen arrested in Russia on espionage charges says he's innocent and was in Moscow to attend a wedding.
Paul Whelan was arrested in Moscow on Friday. The Russian Federal Security Service, in announcing the arrest three days later, said Whelan was caught "during an espionage operation" but gave no details.
"We are deeply concerned for his safety and well-being," his brother, David Whelan, said in a statement posted on Twitter on Tuesday.
"His innocence is undoubted and we trust that his rights will be respected."
The Russian spying charges carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
He said the family last heard from Paul Whelan, a retired Marine, on Friday, "which was very much out of character for him, even when he was travelling".
The state department said on Monday it had received formal notification from the Russian foreign ministry of the arrest and was pushing for consular access.