Moscow court rejects US journalist Evan Gershkovich’s appeal

23 April 2024, 16:44

Russia US Journalist
Russia US Journalist. Picture: PA

The 32-year-old US citizen was detained in late March 2023 while on a reporting trip and has spent more than a year behind bars.

Wall Street Journal 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 pre-trial detention.

The 32-year-old US citizen was detained in late March 2023 while on a reporting trip and has spent more than a year behind bars.

Last month, his arrest was extended until June 30 in a ruling he and his defence lawyers later appealed against.

Biden Russia Gershkovich
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich at an earlier hearing (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

The appeal was heard by a Moscow appellate court on Tuesday and rejected.

In the courtroom on Tuesday, Mr 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.

Mr Gershkovich and his employer have denied the allegations, and the US government has declared him to be wrongfully detained.

Analysts have said 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 Mr 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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, asked this year about releasing Mr Gershkovich, appeared to refer to Krasikov by pointing to a man imprisoned by a US ally for “liquidating a bandit” who had allegedly killed Russian soldiers during separatist fighting in Chechnya.

Mr Gershkovich is the first American reporter to be arrested on espionage charges in Russia since September 1986, when Nicholas Daniloff, a Moscow correspondent for US News and World Report, was arrested by the KGB.

Mr Daniloff was released without charge 20 days later in a swap for an employee of the then Soviet Union’s UN mission who was arrested by the FBI, also on spying charges.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

EU flags

Police search at European Parliament over suspected ‘Russian interference’

Israeli soldiers drive an APC near the Israeli-Gaza border, as seen from southern Israel

Three soldiers killed in Rafah, says Israeli military

Robert De Niro speaks to reporters in support of President Joe Biden across the street from former president Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York

Biden campaign sends De Niro to Trump trial to put focus on 2021 Capitol attack

The Singapore Airlines flight dropped 54 metres in 4.6 seconds, an investigation has found.

Singapore Airlines turbulence flight that left Brit dead 'dropped 54 metres in four seconds'

People queue to cast their votes at a polling station during general elections, in Cape Town, South Africa

South Africans vote in election seen as country’s most important in 30 years

Renowned Sherpa mountain guide Kami Rita, left, returning from Mount Everest after his record 30th successful ascent, arrives at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Friday

Record-holding Sherpa guide concerned about rubbish on Everest’s higher camps

Thailand Thaksin

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra indicted for royal defamation

Balloons with rubbish believed to have been sent by North Korea hang on electric wires as South Korean army soldiers stand guard in Muju, South Korea

North Korea flies balloons carrying rubbish over the South

APTOPIX Papua New Guinea Landslide

Mass evacuations in Papua New Guinea amid fears of further landslides

APTOPIX Israel Palestinians

Algeria proposes UN resolution demanding Israel halt offensive in Rafah

Venezuela Election

Venezuela revoke EU invitation to observe nation’s presidential election in July

Garry Conille

Transitional council in Haiti selects new PM for country under siege by gangs

Former US pesident Donald Trump sits with lawyers while he attends his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City

Trump trial: Prosecutor focuses on ‘cover-up’ while defence attacks key witness

Smoke billows after an explosion in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel

Israeli strikes continue near Gaza’s Rafah

Aid pier

US-built aid pier in Gaza will need to be removed after damage from rough seas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

Zelensky expected in Normandy for D-Day commemorations, says Macron