Detained US reporter appears in court in Russia
A Russian court has rejected Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich’s appeal against his pre-trial detention.
The reporter was formally charged with spying in Russiaearlier this month and has been held at the notorious Lefortovo prison in Moscow since.
Mr Gershkovich, 32, appeared in a Moscow courtroom today to appeal against the decision to keep him in a former KGB prison until at least 29 May.
The reporter stood in a glass box inside the courtroom with his arms crossed and did not say anything.
He faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.
On his arrest, Russia’s Federal Security Service accused him of trying to obtain classified information about a Russian arms factory.
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He became the first reporter for an American news outlet to be arrested on espionage charges in Russia since the Cold War and has always “categorically” denied the allegations.
Sky News correspondent John Sparks said the case today is around his pre-trial detention rather than the “substance of his charges”.
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“I assume his lawyers will be trying to get an alternative custody arrangement for him,” he said.
“I think that he is realistically looking at spending a significant period of time in a Russian prison at the moment.”
The Wall Street Journal previously said it was “deeply concerned” for its reporter’s safety.