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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tobin's Father Keeps Optimistic

The father of John Tobin, the U.S. Fulbright scholar jailed on a marijuana possession conviction, said Thursday that four months in prison had taken its toll on his son, but he insists on his innocence.

"He is a determined kid, he restated that he is innocent and he wants to be vindicated," said John Tobin Sr., who visited his son Wednesday in Voronezh where his son is being held pending appeal of his 37-month sentence on a drug conviction.

"He's thin, he's gaunt, and he is kept in not very comfortable conditions," Tobin said at a news conference.

Tobin's representative in the U.S. Congress, James Maloney, who accompanied him on the trip to Russia, said he was encouraged by a series of meetings held with Foreign Ministry officials, who were "receptive to our concerns."

Tobin said his son was being kept in a small cell with two other prisoners and is sometimes let out for a brief walk.