US says ‘justice has again been denied’ as Russian court rejects jailed ex-Marine Trevor Reed’s appeal

A Russian court sacked the former US Marine on Tuesday Trevor Roseauappealed his conviction and jail term for assault and sent the case to a lower court. US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan, who was present at the hearing on Tuesday, said he was “very disappointed that justice has again been denied”.

“His appeal has not been decided today, the proceedings continue and Trevor remains in jail for a crime he did not commit,” Sullivan told reporters after the hearing.

Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2020 after being found guilty of assaulting two Russian police officers on a drunken night out the previous year. He said he had no recollection of the incident and pleaded not guilty. The US government has raised concerns about the fairness of his trial.

His family have expressed serious concerns for his health, saying they believe he contracted tuberculosis in prison and is not receiving proper medical care, despite the Russian prison service saying last week that he had been transferred to the prison hospital.

Joey and Paula Reed demonstrate in front of the White House to support their son Trevor, detained in Russia.

In a statement on Monday, Reed’s parents said they had managed to “reestablish indirect contact” with their son after going without news for nearly a week. At the end of last week, the family asked the Russian prison service to prove that Reed was still alive.

In their Monday statement, the family noted Tuesday’s impending appeal hearing and said while they believed their case was “solid”, they had “little hope for a successful legal outcome”.

Nonetheless, Reed’s parents said they felt it was “important to continue to vigorously defend Trevor’s appeal rights.”

Parents Joey and Paula Reed expressed growing concern over Trevor’s “rapidly declining health” last week, while calling on the Biden administration to help bring their son home.

“Our son is out of time,” they said in a statement. “With each passing day lost in ‘deliberation’, the risk of our son becoming the next Otto Warmbier grows considerably.”

Warmbier died in 2017 after being released from captivity in North Korea.

Reed spent several weeks on a hunger strike, beginning in late March, to protest his prison conditions. The Federal Prison Service for the Mordovia region, where Reed is imprisoned, mentioned last week that he ended his hunger strike and was transferred to a medical center in the prison.

But Reed’s parents repeated in their statement on Monday that they had been unable to confirm he was eating or had been transferred to a prison hospital.

“The last time Trevor remained silent while allegedly in a ‘hospital’, Russian authorities ‘accidentally’ ‘misplaced’ him for 9 days in a psychiatric ward at the notorious Butyrka prison where he was been severely abused and held in shocking conditions with dangerous inmates, including murderers, in a cell with walls covered in excrement,” they said.

Reed’s parents previously told CBS News they believe he has active tuberculosis as well as a rib injury and denied their son was receiving necessary medical treatment.

“He’s coughing up blood. He still has a fever from time to time. He feels horrible, and now he says he can see something protruding outside of him – where he thinks his rib is broken “Paula Reed told CBS News on Friday last week, after she and her husband met with President Biden.

The couple protested outside the White House on March 30 to draw attention to their son’s case and were invited inside for a meeting with Mr. Biden. The Reeds said Mr Biden “was very personable” and listened to them talk about their son’s health and the prisoner swaps.

The White House said Mr Biden had pledged to secure Reed’s release and Paul Whelananother former U.S. Marine imprisoned in Russia on espionage charges that the U.S. and his family say are fabricated.

Professional basketball player Britney Griner has also been detained in Russia since mid-February for drug trafficking.

Mary Ilyushina contributed reporting.

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