Wall Street Journal Reporter Evan Gershkovich Loses Appeal, Remains in Jail on Espionage Charges

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich lost his appeal on Tuesday to be released from jail on espionage charges in Moscow. The decision means that Gershkovich, 31, will remain behind bars until at least November 30. He appeared in Moscow City Court wearing a blue shirt, T-shirt, and jeans, showing a mostly blank expression. Gershkovich has been in custody for six months since his detention in March during a reporting trip to Yekaterinburg.

This was the second time Gershkovich appealed the decision to extend his pre-trial detention through November. The court had previously declined to hear the appeal on September 19, citing procedural violations. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow expressed deep disappointment with the rejection and called for Gershkovich’s release.

The Russian Federal Security Service accused Gershkovich of collecting classified information about the activities of a Russian military-industrial complex enterprise, allegedly acting on the instructions of the American side. Both Gershkovich and the Wall Street Journal deny these allegations, and the U.S. government has declared his detention to be wrongful. However, Russian authorities have not provided any evidence to support the espionage charges.

Gershkovich is being held at Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, known for its harsh conditions. He is the first American reporter to be charged with espionage in Russia since 1986 when Nicholas Daniloff, a Moscow correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, was arrested by the KGB. Analysts suggest that Moscow may be using jailed Americans as bargaining chips amid heightened tensions with the United States.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has stated that it will only consider a swap for Gershkovich after a verdict is reached in his trial. Espionage trials in Russia can often last for more than a year.


Author: CrimeDoor

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