CNN: The US State Department has asked Russia to release the convicted American ex-diplomat Fogel, the US State Department has asked the Russian authorities to release the convicted former employee of the American embassy in Moscow, Mark Fogel, due to his health condition.
This is reported by CNN with reference to the relatives and lawyer of the ex-diplomat.
Vogel’s legal team believes the request was made based on his age and physical health. The State Department did not provide details on this. The relatives of the ex-diplomat told the TV channel that the man suffers from chronic back pain, and the narcotic substances brought across the Russian border were necessary for him for medical reasons.
On August 25, the Moscow Regional Court upheld the verdict of the Khimki City Court to Vogel, who was sentenced to 14 years in a high-security colony for drug smuggling.
Mark Vogel and his wife flew to Moscow on August 14, 2021 from New York. At Sheremetyevo airport, customs officers stopped them due to the reaction of a service dog trained to search for drugs. Marijuana packaged in contact lens packages and hashish oil poured into cartridges for electronic cigarettes were found in the man’s luggage. It is known that until May 2021, Vogel and his wife had diplomatic status.
After the arrest, the man admitted the fact of moving drugs across the border, while denying that he had criminal intent. According to him, a doctor prescribed marijuana to him after spinal surgery, but he did not know about the ban on its import into Russia.