December 31, 2018

I am now at the detention center in Moscow. It can best be described as a prison. I have two cell mates, one from Australia, the other from Turkey. We are locked in our cells 23 hours each day, with one hour let out each day in a caged area. I don’t know when they will deport me. Russian New Year is a major holiday and I am told nothing will happen at least until mid-January. I am treated well and don’t have any serious complaints. I am in good health and in good spirits.

December 20, 2018

I am told I will depart for Moscow in the morning at 8:40 a.m.

Photos – 12/20/2018

With Gennadiy and Valera, the guards taking me to Moscow.

With Vladislav, mining engineer at Ugolnie-Kopi city, deputy director of the facility where we are staying.

December 19, 2018

Monday morning I tried to submit my application to have a hearing on the factual difference between the security guard’s first testimony and his second. I was told that it must be brought on Tuesday when I would also pick up papers regarding the conclusion of the latest appeal. On Tuesday, when I tried again to submit the paper, I was told that it could not be accepted because it was not in Russian. Additionally, I was told the trial would be held that afternoon. At trial, I also asked to submit the paper. It wasn’t accepted, and we took a break while the interpreter translated it into Russian. However, the judge concluded the case without allowing me to call witnesses in challenge of the false testimony, as I requested. The trial ended in a guilty verdict and an order to put me in a detention center. I was expecting to be taken into custody immediately, but was surprised departed and I was allowed to leave. That night, I went back to my apartment and drafted an appeal with the hopes of submitting it before being taken out of the city. First thing this morning, when the library opened, I went and typed my appeal and was pleased to have my friend translate it for me into Russian and I turned it in to the court. In the meantime, the border security brought me my boat and had me sign that I received it. I was not sure what to do with it, but decided to give it to one of my friends, who I thought may be able to make use of it. He then arranged to donate it to the local museum, who seemed happy to receive it. After delivering the boat to the museum, I was met by several men in uniform, who took me into custody, explaining the judge’s order to put me into detention. I was fingerprinted and taken by helicopter to the nearby city of Ugolnie-Kopi, which has the airport, to await transport to Moscow. I am told I will be here for two days while waiting for the next flight, which leaves on Friday. I am settled in now to a comfortable dorm type room, where I am to spend with the two guards who will accompany me to Moscow. They have not taken my phone from me, so I am dictating my journal entries to my friend Brent, who is posting them on the website.