American, detained in Russia, to be imprisoned for 7 years

The Russian special services have no questions for U.S. citizen John Edward Tobbin detained in Voronezh, as his actions have not inflicted any damage on Russia's security, spokesman for the Federal Security Service's Voronezh department Pavel Bolshunov said on Wednesday. "We have no security-related questions for this American citizen," he said. "The political information that Tobbin was gathering is within the limits of his thesis and does not inflict any damage on Russian security,", Interfax cites him as saying. He noted, however, that the current charges brought against Tobbin - the illegal possession of drugs, stipulated in Part I of Article 228 of the Criminal Code - may be made more severe. "Two witnesses will be questioned once again today. If they confirm their previous statement that Tobbin possessed drugs not just for himself but to sell them, the charges may be changed and a more severe verdict may be passed on him [imprisonment of up to seven years]," Bolshunov said.