The defense team of Russian citizen Roman Seleznyov arrested by the U.S. authorities reached him on Thursday, Roman's father, State Duma deputy Valery Seleznyov told reporters on Friday.
"Lawyers have been hired and have contacted Roman. The first contact took place yesterday, they spoke to Roman. Thanks God Roman is cheerful. This condition is not very good but he is in high spirits," he said.
In the words of V. Seleznyov, the lawyers have described the conditions of his son's custody as difficult.
"Indeed, the conditions are very difficult. The lawyers have described his prison is one of the worst or probably the worst [prison] under the jurisdiction of the United States. It is not a secret that the prison situated on Guam Island has been repeatedly listed amongst the detention facilities condemned by the Council of Europe," he said.
Reporters asked whether Roman Seleznyov could be exchanged for former U.S. security service employee Edward Snowden. "You see these are two different things. Being a father, I would have gladly exchanged him even for a devil. But I understand there are certain limits to the possible and the impossible. Yet who knows," he said.
In the opinion of Valery Seleznyov, it would be incorrect to compare those two cases. "These are completely different things. There was no abduction on our part. A person came, declared himself and asked for asylum. As far as I know, the period of his stay in Russia is coming to an end and he has asked to extend it. That is his own business, his sovereign right to movement which is proclaimed by international agreements consistent with the constitution. And here [in the case of Roman Seleznyov], a man was abducted and sent to an island he would have hardly chosen to visit as a tourist," he said.
Roman Seleznyov was detained by U.S. security services at the Male international airport in the Republic of the Maldives on July 5 on the counts of illegal credit card operations. Later in the same day he was transported to the Island of Guam, the location of a U.S. military base, by a private airline plane. The transfer was confirmed by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom said the republican authorities acted independently in the arrest of Roman Seleznyov and the United States had nothing to do with that operation.
In turn, Valery Seleznyov said Roman "might have been forced to make some confessions, which was the reason why he was taken to one of the most dreadful prisons, Guam."
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