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Russia sends WSJ reporter’s case to court, accuses him of spying

U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges, talks with his lawyers from inside a defendants' cage after a hearing to consider an appeal on his extended pre-trial detention, at the The first court of appeal in Moscow. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)
June 14, 2024

The Russian Prosecutor General’s office formally sent the case of imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich to court, accusing him of spying “on instructions from the CIA.”

Gershkovich, 32, was detained by Federal Security Service agents in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg in March last year on espionage allegations that he and the newspaper have denied. The State Department has formally determined that he’s “wrongfully detained,” allowing the U.S. to negotiate on his behalf.

In a statement on Thursday, the Prosecutor General’s Office accused the journalist of gathering “secret” information about the production and repair of military equipment at the Uralvagonzavod plant. The case has been sent to Sverdlovsk Regional Court in Yekaterinburg, it added.

Formal conviction and sentencing of Gershkovich may pave the way for Russia to discuss a possible swap with the U.S. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a June 5 meeting with foreign media that intelligence services of the two countries were in contact, and that the U.S. was taking energetic steps to secure the reporter’s release.


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