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Evan Gershkovich: US journalist seen with shaved head earlier than begin of spying trial in Russia | World Information

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Evan Gershkovich has been seen earlier than the beginning of his behind-closed-doors trial in Russia accused of spying.

Reporters have been allowed to briefly movie the US journalist on Wednesday earlier than the beginning of the listening to within the metropolis of Yekaterinburg the place he faces expenses of espionage, which he denies.

Mr Gershkovich was seen standing in a glass field, with a shaved head.

The 32-year-old’s trial is to happen behind closed doorways. Pic: Reuters

The Wall Avenue Journal reporter was first arrested and detained in March 2023 after Russia claimed he had been “gathering secret info” on orders from the CIA.

The 32-year-old reporter, who has already spent practically 15 months behind bars in Moscow’s infamous Lefortovo jail, faces as much as 20 years in jail if discovered responsible.

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Russian courts convict greater than 99% of the defendants who come earlier than them, and prosecutors can attraction sentences they regard as too lenient, and may even attraction acquittals.

Final week, the first details of the allegations against him emerged because it was claimed he was looking for particulars about Uralvagonzavod, a facility that produces and repairs navy gear, the prosecutor common’s workplace stated.

The authorities haven’t publicly disclosed any proof to again up the accusations.

The trial is because of happen behind closed doorways – one thing Russia says is regular in espionage {cases}.

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich makes a heart-shaped gesture as he appears in court.
Pic Reuters
The reporter makes a heart-shaped gesture at a earlier courtroom look. Pic Reuters

Mr Gershkovich, his employer and the US authorities strongly deny the claims and Washington has designated him wrongfully detained.

“Evan has finished nothing flawed. He ought to by no means have been arrested within the first place. Journalism shouldn’t be a criminal offense,” US State Division spokesman Matthew Miller stated final week.

He added: “The costs in opposition to him are false. And the Russian authorities is aware of that they are false. He must be launched instantly.”

The White Home has sought to barter Mr Gershkovich’s launch, however Russia’s overseas ministry stated Moscow would take into account a prisoner swap solely after a trial verdict.

Nonetheless, that could possibly be months away, as a result of Russian trials usually adjourn for weeks.

Whereas Russia-US relations are fraught over the struggle in Ukraine, the Kremlin and Washington did agree a high-profile prisoner exchange in 2022 that secured the discharge of basketball star star Brittney Griner, who was serving a prolonged sentence for hashish possession.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has steered Mr Gershkovic could possibly be swapped in return for the discharge of Vadim Krasikov, a Russian imprisoned in Germany for assassinating a Chechen insurgent chief in Berlin.

Nonetheless, this may require the cooperation of Germany in a Russia-US dispute.

Mr Gershkovich was the primary US journalist detained on espionage expenses since Nicholas Daniloff in 1986 on the top of the Chilly Battle.

It adopted a crackdown on freedom of speech after Mr Putin despatched troops into Ukraine.

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