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Russian Prosecutors Demand Nearly 10 Years' Jail for U.S. Ex-Marine

Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed (on screen via video conference) during a hearing. Gavriil Grigorov / TASS

Russian prosecutors on Wednesday asked for a sentence of nearly 10 years in a penal colony for a former U.S. marine accused of attacking police officers.

Trevor Reed, a 29-year-old student and former Marine from Texas, allegedly attacked police while drunk after attending a party last year.

He is accused of grabbing one policeman while being driven to a police station and elbowing another.

A spokeswoman for Moscow's Golovinsky district court told AFP that prosecutors asked the judge to impose a sentence of 9 years and 8 months, close to the maximum possible sentence of 10 years.

The verdict will be announced Thursday. 

Reed has been held in a Moscow prison in pre-trial detention since August 2019. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying he remembers nothing of the incident.

His defense team has pointed to discrepancies in the evidence given by the police officers.

The case has attracted attention owing to the lengthy sentence faced by a U.S. citizen and speculation in Russian and U.S. media that Reed could become part of a prisoner swap.

In June, Russia convicted U.S. citizen Paul Whelan, also an ex-Marine, to 16 years in a penal colony on an espionage charge, also prompting speculation that he could participate in a prisoner swap.

Whelan's brother David said in a statement on Wednesday that "our family is not privy to government discussions, if there are any, about Paul's case."

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