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Pre-trial detention for American reporter held in Russia prolonged by March

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MOSCOW — A court docket in Moscow Friday prolonged the pretrial detention of Wall Road Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage prices, till the top of March, which means the journalist will spend not less than a 12 months behind bars in Russia.

United States Consul Common Stuart Wilson attended the listening to at Lefortovo District Court docket, which happened behind closed doorways as a result of authorities say particulars of the felony case in opposition to the American journalist are categorized.

In video shared by state information company Ria Novosti, Gershkovich was proven listening to the ruling, standing in a court docket cage carrying a hooded prime and lightweight blue denims. He was pictured a short while later strolling in direction of a jail van to depart the court docket.

Gershkovich, 32, was detained in March whereas on a reporting journey to the Russian metropolis of Yekaterinburg, about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) east of Moscow.

Russia’s Federal Safety Service alleged that the reporter, “performing on the directions of the American facet, collected info constituting a state secret in regards to the actions of one of many enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complicated.”

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Gershkovich and the Journal deny the allegations, and the U.S. authorities has declared him to be wrongfully detained. Russian authorities haven’t detailed any proof to assist the espionage prices.

Throughout his end-of-year information convention in December, Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned that Moscow is in dialogue with america on bringing residence each Gershkovich and jailed American Paul Whelan, and that the Kremlin hopes to “discover a resolution” though “it’s not straightforward.”

Putin was replying to a query about a suggestion the Biden administration made to safe the 2 males’s launch. The U.S. State Division reported it in December, with out providing particulars, and mentioned Russia rejected it.

“Now we have contacts on this matter with our American companions, there’s a dialogue on this problem. It’s not straightforward, I received’t go into particulars proper now. However generally, it appears to me that we’re talking a language every of us understands,” Putin mentioned.

“I hope we are going to discover a resolution,” he continued. “However, I repeat, the American facet should hear us and decide that may fulfill the Russian facet as nicely.”

The Russian International Ministry has mentioned it should contemplate a swap for Gershkovich solely after a verdict in his trial. In Russia, espionage trials can final for greater than a 12 months.

Gershkovich is the primary American reporter to be charged with espionage in Russia since 1986, when Nicholas Daniloff, a Moscow correspondent for U.S. Information and World Report, was arrested by the KGB. Gershkovich is being held at Moscow’s Lefortovo jail, infamous for its harsh circumstances.

Analysts have mentioned that Moscow could also be utilizing jailed Individuals as bargaining chips after U.S.-Russian tensions soared when Russia despatched troops into Ukraine. A minimum of two U.S. residents arrested in Russia in recent times, together with WNBA star Brittney Griner, have been exchanged for Russians jailed within the U.S.


A earlier model of this story incorrectly described the court docket listening to as an attraction. It was a listening to on extending pretrial detention.

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