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CNN: Moscow court denies US journalist Gershkovich's appeal, remands him in custody

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 18, 2023 6:52 PM 2 min read
US journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges, stands inside a defendant's cage before a hearing to consider an appeal on his arrest at the Moscow City Court in Moscow on April 18, 2023. (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)
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Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, arrested in Russia on espionage charges, appealed his pre-trial detention terms at a hearing on April 18, according to CNN.

Gershkovich asked to be placed under house arrest rather than in jail, but the Moscow City Court denied his appeal, CNN reported, citing the court's statement.

The journalist's lawyer, Tatyana Nozkhkina, said after the hearing that her team would "continue to further appeal this measure of restraint." The next hearing on the issue of prolonging Gershkovich's detention is scheduled for the end of May, according to Nozkhkina, as cited by the publication.

U.S. ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy reportedly spoke to Gershkovich a day before and said that he remained strong and in good health.

"The charges against Evan are baseless, and we call on the Russian Federation to immediately release him," Tracy told reporters after the court's ruling.

The detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on March 29 triggered angry denunciations from the U.S. and its allies, marking yet another low in U.S.-Russian ties.

The release of the detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich is a "priority" and "urgency" for U.S. President Joe Biden, according to the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Gershkovich was arrested in Yekaterinburg while working on a story about the Wagner mercenary group recruiting locals, as well as Russian citizens' views on the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russia accused him of being a spy and arrested him for espionage, a claim that the U.S. government and the Wall Street Journal vehemently deny. Espionage in Russia carries a maximum jail term of 20 years.

Bloomberg: Putin approved arrest of US journalist Gershkovich on spying charges
Russian President Vladimir Putin personally approved the arrest of a U.S. reporter on espionage charges for the first time since the Cold War, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
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