Evan Gershkovich detention extended to June


Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, accused by Russia of spying, had his pre-trial detention extended by three months on Tuesday to June 30, a Moscow court said.

Gershkovich, his paper, and the US government all strongly deny the charges, which carry a sentence of up to 20 years in jail.

Tuesday’s hearing was closed to media, but the Moscow court service published photographs and a brief video showing Gershkovich standing in a glass box in the courtroom. He appeared relaxed and was smiling.

Friday will mark the first anniversary of Gershkovich’s arrest in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg. He has failed in repeated appeals against his detention, which has already been extended several times. No date has been set for his trial.

Demanding Gershkovich’s release

US Ambassador Lynne Tracy visited the 32-year-old reporter in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison last week. The embassy said at the time: “Evan remains strong and resilient, but it is a tragedy that he is awaiting trial for a crime he did not commit.”

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy leaves a court building after a hearing to consider extending detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who is in custody on espionage charges, in Moscow, Russia, March 26, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA)

Washington has pledged to do “whatever it takes” to bring home Gershkovich and ex-Marine Paul Whelan, convicted in 2020 and serving 16 years in a Russian penal colony on spying charges that he, too, denies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Gershkovich could be released at some point in exchange for a Russian prisoner held abroad, but no such deal has so far materialized.

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