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US reporter Evan Gershkovich detained in Russia to face trial on espionage fees | World Information

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An American journalist who has been held in Russia for greater than a yr will stand trial on espionage fees, authorities have stated.

The Wall Avenue Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is accused of “gathering secret info” for the CIA about Uralvagonzavod, a facility that produces and repairs army tools, Russia‘s Prosecutor Common’s workplace stated.

That is the primary time authorities have revealed the main points of their accusations in opposition to the journalist – however they haven’t supplied any proof to again them up.

An indictment has been finalised and Mr Gershkovich’s case was filed to the Sverdlovsky Regional Court docket, in accordance with Russia authorities.

The trial will happen within the Ural Mountains metropolis of Yekaterinburg, the place Mr Gershkovich was first detained. A begin date is but to be introduced.

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Mr Gershkovich faces as much as 20 years in jail if convicted.

Evan Gershkovich makes a heart-shaped gesture as he seems in court docket in April. Pic Reuters

US authorities responds

US State Division spokesman Matthew Miller has stated there’s “completely zero credibility to these fees” and vowed the US authorities will proceed working to deliver Mr Gershkovich residence.

“Evan has executed nothing improper. He ought to by no means have been arrested within the first place. Journalism isn’t against the law,” he stated.

“The fees in opposition to him are false. And the Russian authorities is aware of that they are false. He needs to be launched instantly.”

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The Biden administration has been trying to negotiate Mr Gershkovich’s launch however Russia’s international ministry has stated it’s going to think about a prisoner swap solely after a verdict within the trial.

Mr Gershkovich was detained and accused of spying whereas on a reporting journey to Yekaterinburg, which is roughly 1,400km east of Moscow, in March 2023.

Journalists hold 'Free Evan' signs in Freedom Plaza in Washington. Pic: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
Evan Gershkovich’s detention has prompted outcry amongst journalists and within the US. Pic: AP

The reporter, The Wall Avenue Journal and the US authorities have repeatedly denied Russia’s accusations, whereas Washington has designated him as wrongfully detained.

Since his arrest, Mr Gershkovich has been held at Moscow’s Lefortovo Jail – a infamous jail used throughout Joseph Stalin’s purges, when executions had been carried out within the basement.

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