American student, detained in Russia, is an interrogation expert. Besides, he turned his flat into a drug-addicts’ den

The Voronezh Regional Court on Tuesday has ruled that U.S. citizen John Edward Tobbin will be held in detention pending trial. His defence attorney has asked that he be released. The Russian Federal Security Service believes that he is directly involved with U.S. intelligence agencies. It will be recalled that U.S. national John Edward Tobbin, arrested in the city of Voronezh (about 300km south of Moscow) was a post-graduate student at the local university. He was detained on February 1st, as he was buying drugs. Investigators in charge of Mr. Tobbin's case found out that before travelling to Russia he had studied Russian at a U.S. Defence Department college in Monterrey, received training at the Intelligence Centre in Fort Huachuka, Arizona, and got his diploma of an expert in carrying out interrogations. Tobbin arrived in Voronezh with official request by the US State Department to take him in the Political Science Department of the Voronezh State University. At the University Tobbin was going to defend a thesis on the subject of “modification of political priorities of Russians during last 10 years”. Tobbin had an access to secret documents of the Russian Defence Ministry. According to a spokesman for FSB, “there is evidence that Tobbin was linked to US Intelligence.” A source in FSB of Russia reported that being detained, he tried to put up resistance to the police. To all appearances, it did not do him good. He had 15 doses of marihuana about him at the moment of detention. A search was conducted in his place straight after his detention. Policemen discovered drugs (3,5 grams of marihuana) in his flat as well. “The investigator has enough evidence that Tobbin’s place was turned into a drug-addicts’ den. We may say that Tobbin is a confirmed drug-addict”, Pavel Bolshunov, a spokesman for PR department of local FSB office said. Thus two accusations can be brought against him: resistance to the police and keeping of drugs. US embassy officials have already visited the American in the detention house and concluded that the conditions were “quite satisfactory”. According to Pavel Bolshunov, “three other cultured persons are being held in the same cell with him”. However the Americans will scarcely manage to help to the “poor devil” by political means. As regards Edmond Pope case, only espionage was concerned, and, according to one of FSB officers, “spying is always a political case”. But Tobbin’s case (keeping drugs and resistance to the police) is a criminal one. And anyway he will stand trial as a criminal offender.

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