Moscow court rejects WSJ reporter’s appeal

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Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich speaks with his lawyers standing in a glass cage in a courtroom at the First Appeals Court of General Jurisdiction in Moscow, Russia on April 23. (AP)

MOSCOW, April 24, (AP): Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter Evan Gershkovich will remain jailed on espionage charges until at least late June, after a Moscow court on Tuesday rejected his appeal that sought to end his pretrial detention.
The 32-year-old US citizen was detained in late March 2023 while on a reporting trip and has spent over a year in jail, with authorities routinely extending his time behind bars and rejecting his appeals. Last month, his pretrial detention was continued yet again – until June 30 – in a ruling that he and his lawyers later challenged. A Moscow appellate court rejected it Tuesday.
In the courtroom on Tuesday, Gerhskovich, wearing a white T-shirt and an open checked shirt, looked relaxed, at times laughing and chatting with members of his legal team.
His arrest in the city of Yekaterinburg rattled journalists in Russia, where authorities have not detailed what, if any, evidence they have to support the espionage charges.
Gershkovich and his employer have denied the allegations, and the US government has declared him to be wrongfully detained.
Analysts have pointed out that Moscow may be using jailed Americans as bargaining chips in soaring US-Russian tensions over the Kremlin’s military operation in Ukraine. At least two US citizens arrested in Russia in recent years – including WNBA star Brittney Griner – have been exchanged for Russians jailed in the US.
In December, the US State Department said it had made a significant offer to secure the release of Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, another American imprisoned in Russia on espionage charges, which it said Moscow had rejected.
Officials did not describe the offer, although Russia has been said to be seeking the release of Vadim Krasikov, who was given a life sentence in Germany in 2021 for the killing in Berlin of Zelimkhan “Tornike” Khangoshvili, a 40-year-old Georgian citizen of Chechen descent who had fought Russian troops in Chechnya and later claimed asylum in Germany.

This news has been read 288 times!

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