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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hearty Breakfast For Freed Pope

LANDSTUHL, Germany - Freed businessman Edmond Pope said Friday he was treated "quite well" while jailed in a Moscow prison as an accused American spy, but fought depression during more than eight months behind bars. Doctors who examined Pope in Germany said he may have skin cancer.

Pope began his first full day in freedom with a hearty breakfast at the U.S. military's Landstuhl Medical Center, where he arrived Thursday only hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered him released from a Moscow prison.

"I'm living on adrenaline right now," Pope, 54, told reporters at a midday news conference, wearing a sports coat and a new blue tie bought by his wife Cheri, who was at his side.

A small bandage on Pope's nose covered a lesion - one of three that doctors believe could be skin cancer. Pope, who has suffered in the past from a rare form of bone cancer, said he expected to stay in Germany several more days to complete a medical checkup and await the results of cancer tests before returning home to the United States.

Recalling his 253 days in Moscow's high-security Lefortovo prison for the first time, Pope said he paced his small cell, exercised and kept notes to stay sane.

"Physically they treated me quite well. There was no physical abuse," he said. "There was some mental anguish and some depression."

Pope had been sentenced to 20 years in jail last week, the first alleged U.S. spy convicted by Russia in four decades, but Putin pardoned him to help relations with the United States and for humanitarian reasons. Thursday was the first day Putin could have released Pope under Russian law, after the presidential pardons commission recommended the move following Pope's conviction.

At Landstuhl, spokeswoman Marie Shaw said Pope was seen by an internal medicine specialist and a psychologist shortly after his arrival. She said he was in good spirits after a good night's sleep and "he's had a good breakfast."

Military doctor Capt. Andrew Reynolds said Pope had lesions on his face, back and chest. "There is a good possibility that one or more of them is skin cancer," he said, adding that Pope was doing well under the circumstances "although he's not 100 percent."

Pope has rejected Russian charges he illegally obtained plans for a top-secret Russian Navy torpedo, saying what he purchased was not secret and that the technology had already been sold abroad. Pope sent a letter to Putin asking for clemency on the eve of his conviction, his wife Cheri said.

Cheri Pope had headed to the prison Thursday morning only hoping to visit her husband for the first time since the Dec. 6 verdict, said Jennifer Bennett, spokeswoman for Pope's Pennsylvania Congressman, Rep. John Peterson. Instead, Pope was let go, and he and his wife soon were on a plane to Germany.

Pope's company, TechSource Marine Industries, is based in State College, Pennsylvania.