UPDATED 12:40 PM PT – Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed was ordered to remain in Russian custody after his appeal against a nine-year prison sentence was denied. On Monday, the Moscow City Court upheld the American’s nine-year sentence for assaulting a police officer back in 2019.
After the court hearing, U.S. ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said despite the decision, the case was far from over.
“I regret that the appellate court has not corrected this gross injustice,” he expressed. “It does not in any way affect the seriousness with which I and the U.S. government will continue to pursue this matter for Trevor to get him released.”
Amb Sullivan: Today marks another sad milestone as #TrevorReed’s appeal was denied. Another absurd miscarriage of justice in Russia as the world watches. We will not cease to advocate for Trevor & for US citizens denied an open & fair judicial process, a universal human right. pic.twitter.com/ZtySP1RMi6
— Jason P. Rebholz (@USEmbRuPress) June 28, 2021
According to court documents, Reed traveled to Russia the summer of 2019 to visit his girlfriend and was detained after leaving a party intoxicated. While being driven to the police station, prosecutors alleged Reed assaulted an officer and caused the police car to swerve dangerously.
Sullivan noted there was “flimsy evidence” in this case and added U.S. officials believe Reed’s trial was a sham.
“He is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances,” he explained. “He’s a remarkable and resilient young man and I won’t say anything, any more than that.”
Today, a Russian court unjustly denied U.S. Marine veteran Trevor Reed’s appeal to be released from a Russian prison.
This is a travesty.
President Biden must put pressure on Putin to immediately release Trevor Reed.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) June 29, 2021
Prior to the appeal decision, Republicans pressed Joe Biden to discuss Reed’s case and the case of Paul Whelan with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they met earlier this month. Biden said the issue was discussed, but gave no specifics as to whether the conversation went well.
“I said the families of the detained Americans came up and we discussed it. We’re going to follow through with that discussion,” he announced. “I am not going to walk away on it.”
Lawyers for Reed will now be able to appeal to a higher court in Russia and vowed that if needed, they will take the case to the country’s Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.