A Russian court on Wednesday ordered a psychological examination of former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed, who was convicted of assaulting a police officer in a case condemned by President Joe Biden’s administration.
Reed, 29, was found guilty and sentenced to nine years behind bars in July last year for allegedly hitting a Moscow law enforcement officer while drunk in 2019.
During a call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken demanded his release and that of another former U.S. marine jailed in Russia.
At an appeal hearing in Moscow on Wednesday, the court ordered a psychological and psychiatric evaluation be carried out because “Reed does not remember anything about the circumstances of the event.”
Russian news agencies reported that the court additionally cited a need for the exam since Reed had “consumed one liter of vodka” prior to his detention.
At the time of the trial, Reed’s legal representation and his family pointed to what they said were inconsistencies in the process and speculated his arrest could be politically motivated.
His case was overshadowed by the trial against another former marine, Paul Whelan, who was convicted on espionage charges in June last year and sentenced to 16 years behind bars.
Whelan’s lawyer has said on several occasions that Russian authorities were negotiating a prisoner exchange for the two former U.S. military men.
U.S. diplomats have previously raised concerns over a case against Michael Calvey, a high-profile American investor who was arrested last year for allegedly defrauding a Russian bank.