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Sunday July 14, 2024

US reporter Gershkovich to go on trial in Russia

By Reuters
June 26, 2024
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who is in custody on espionage charges, stands behind a glass wall of an enclosure for defendants during a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, April 23, 2024. — Reuters
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who is in custody on espionage charges, stands behind a glass wall of an enclosure for defendants during a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, April 23, 2024. — Reuters

LONDON: U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich will stand trial for espionage in Russia on Wednesday in a court whose proceedings are classified as a state secret.

No reporters, friends, family members or U.S. embassy staff will be allowed into the courtroom in the city of Yekaterinburg where Gershkovich, 32, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Russian prosecutors say the Wall Street Journal reporter, arrested in March last year, had collected secret evidence about a Russian tank manufacturer on the orders of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Gershkovich, his newspaper and the U.S. government reject the charges. U.S. President Joe Biden called his detention “totally illegal”.

Closed trials are standard procedure in Russia for cases of alleged treason or espionage involving classified state material.