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Russia to hold trial of US reporter Gershkovich behind closed doors

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Russia to hold trial of US reporter Gershkovich behind closed doors

Evan Gershkovich

Gershkovich, the first American journalist to be detained on spy charges in Russia since the Cold War over three decades ago, denies the charges.


Russia will hold the espionage trial of detained U.S. reporter Evan Gershkovich, who denies charges of collecting secrets for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), behind closed doors later this month, a court in city of Yekaterinburg said on Monday.

 


Gershkovich was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on March 29, 2023, in a steak house in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg on charges of espionage that carry up to 20 years in prison.

 

“According to the investigation authorities, the American journalist of The Wall Street Journal, Gershkovich, on the instructions of the CIA, in March 2023, collected secret information in the Sverdlovsk region about the activities of the defence enterprise JSC NPK Uralvagonzavod for the production and repair of military equipment,” the Sverdlovsk Regional Court said.


“The process will take place behind closed doors.” The first hearing is scheduled for June 26, the court said.

 


Russia has said Gershkovich was caught “red-handed” and the FSB, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said he was trying to obtain military secrets.

 


Gershkovich, the first American journalist to be detained on spy charges in Russia since the Cold War over three decades ago, denies the charges.

 

The White House has called the charges “ridiculous” and President Joe Biden has said Gershkovich’s detention is “totally illegal”. The Wall Street Journal denies he is a spy and has called for his immediate release, as has his family.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Jun 17 2024 | 11:28 AM IST

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