Dozens of footage from the Lefortovsky Court displaying US journalist Evan Gershkovich on November 28, 2023.
MOSCOW – A Moscow court stated Tuesday it has prolonged till January the detention of US reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in Russia earlier this yr on espionage costs.
The court stated Gershkovich’s “detention interval” was prolonged by two months till January 30, which the Wall Street Journal, his employer, known as “an pressing and treacherous assault on the free press”.
The 32-year-old correspondent, the Wall Street Journal and the US authorities have denied the espionage allegations.
The listening to was held behind closed doorways, and no press was allowed inside.
The US Embassy in Moscow stated its officers had been capable of attend the listening to.
AFP noticed a handful of reporters ready outdoors the courtroom.
An extension of Gershkovich’s detention was virtually sure, as Moscow not often releases folks in jail awaiting trial on critical costs.
Gershkovich was arrested throughout a reporting journey in late March within the Urals metropolis of Yekaterinburg, changing into the primary Western reporter to be jailed on espionage costs in Russia for the reason that Soviet period.
He was held in Lefortovo jail in Moscow.
– ‘Outrageous’ –
The Wall Street Journal and the United States each made their requires Gershkovich’s speedy launch after Tuesday’s listening to.
“The allegations in opposition to him are false and his continued imprisonment is a brazen and outrageous assault on a free press, which is important to a free society,” the Wall Street Journal stated in an announcement.
The US Embassy in Moscow stated it was “deeply involved concerning the court’s choice… We reiterate our name for his speedy launch.”
Court-released video confirmed Gershkovich standing in a steel defendant’s cage throughout Tuesday’s listening to, sporting a checkered shirt and a darkish hooded jacket.
The American, who beforehand labored for AFP, continued to report from Russia after the Kremlin launched its offensive from Ukraine, regardless of many Western journalists leaving the nation.
Russia claims it caught Gershkovich “red-handed”, however has not offered any public proof of its allegations in opposition to him.
He faces as much as 20 years in jail if convicted.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated in July that Washington was engaged in diplomatic efforts to attempt to safe Gershkovich’s launch via a attainable prisoner alternate with Moscow.