Trevor Reed: Ex-US Marine jailed in Russian Federation for assaulting police

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 2, 2020

A former US Marine from Texas has been sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony after being accused of assaulting two police officers while drunk.

He appeared wearing a facemask in a cage for defendants in a courtroom in the Russian capital as the judge read out the guilty verdict, saying the police officers had suffered "mental and physical harm".

Reed and his family have adamantly denied the allegations that he attacked the officers and say the case against him was unsupported by forensic evidence.

Reed claims to have no knowledge of what happened next, but Tsibulnik said she got the pair a ride home with two of her colleagues in the early hours of the next day. "They didn't ask me anything about fighting police, they asked me where I served in the Marine Corps, what deployments I was on...."

"This is completely a political case", Mr.

Reed, 29, says he has no memory of the events that led to the charge. According to the prosecution, Reed resisted arrest, and once in the patrol auto, assaulted the police officer who was driving, tearing his uniform and hitting his partner.

Reed is one of several American citizens to face trial in Russian Federation in recent years on charges that their families, supporters, and in some cases the US government have said appear trumped up. The officers said Reed elbowed one officer's seat and tugged on the arm of the officer driving, nearly causing it to hit a light pole.

His defence team has pointed to discrepancies in the evidence given by the police officers. Mr. Reed, they said, elbowed one in the stomach.

Reed's family called the verdict "completely unfair", branding the court "corrupt".

When the police arrived, they put Reed in the back of their auto and then drove him to a police station, Tsybulnik said.

The suspicion among USA officials is the Russian government is using Reed, along with Marine veteran Paul Whelan, as potential bargaining chips for Russian nationals convicted of crimes in the U.S.

Video surveillance footage presented in court did not appear to show the vehicle swerve. He says he remembers nothing of the incident because he was drunk at the time. Bout, a Russian arms dealer named the "Dealer of Death" who was sentenced to 25 years in a United States federal prison in 2012, has also been mentioned in Russian and worldwide media reports of a possible trade.

Reed's case has attracted attention owing to the lengthy sentence faced by a United States citizen and speculation in Russian and USA media that Reed could become part of a prisoner swap.

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