Whelan's family says he was only in the country for a vacation.
Whelan arrived in Russia on December 22 to attend a retired pine Mary's wedding, his brother David Whelan told CNN. The day of his arrest, he had been with the wedding party in the Kremlin, which served as a guide to wedding guests who visited Russia for the first time, his brother said. Later in the day, he did not arrive at the wedding, and the newlyweds filed a missing personal report with the Russian authorities.
FSB, Russia's domestic intelligence agency, announced Whelan's arrest the following Monday. His family rejects the accusation that he was a spy.
Since his arrest Whelan has been held without a security deposit in Moscow's Lefortovo prison. He was expected in court on Tuesday for a trial. Vladimir Zherebenkov, Whelan's lawyer in Russia, said he filed a complaint about the detention in early January and called it unjustified and excessive.
Zherebenkov said the prison treated Whelan well, and he had a good mood and felt good.
A representative of the US Embassy will participate in public parts of the hearing, said David Whelan.
US citizen, retired marine security director
Whelan is the global security director of the Michigan-based automaker manufacturer BorgWarner. He began working for the company in 2017 and has been responsible for the physical securities of BorgWarner's facilities that the company has said.
Prior to this, Whelan was senior manager of Kelly Services, a global office staff company until 2016.
He earned 14 years in the US Marine Corps Reserve and completed two Iraq tours in 2004 and 2006. In 2008, he was dismissed for bad behavior.
Whelan was convicted by a special court battle for a trial of larceny, according to military legal documents. The conviction says he was trying to steal $ 10,410 in his time in Iraq.
His ties to Russia
A 2007 Marine Corps article says Whelan spent his military law in 2006 to visit Russia, "experiencing the post-Soviet era of Moscow and St. Petersburg."