Evan Gershkovich's appeal against pre-trial detention denied by Russian court

Wall Street Journal reporter makes first public appearance in court since his arrest in March

Jailed US journalist makes first public appearance in Russian court

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands in a glass cage in a courtroom at the Moscow City Court, in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.  (AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich's appeal against his pre-trial detention in Russia was denied by a judge on Tuesday.

It was his first public hearing at a Russian court since he was arrested on an espionage charge. Gershkovich was held in a glass cage during the hearing.

Gershkovich was arrested in Yekaterinburg in March. Russian authorities accused him of trying to obtain classified information. Moscow claimed he was caught “red-handed”. They have not made any evidence public. Gershkovich could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

He and the Wall Street Journal have denied the charges. Washington last week officially classified him as wrongfully detained.

US ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy was also in the room at Moscow City Court. The US embassy in Moscow said that Ms Tracy had visited Gershkovich on Tuesday, the first in the two and a half weeks since he has been detained.

Gershkovich “feels well and is holding up. We reiterate our call for Evan's immediate release”, Ms Tracy said in a statement.

The US accused Russia of breaking international law by not providing him with consular services.

President Joe Biden spoke to Gershkovich's parents last week, and condemned the detention as “totally illegal”.

Gershkovich wrote to his parents on April 5, telling them he was “not losing hope” and still reading and writing, Reuters reported.

Gershkovich is in pre-trial detention at Lefortovo prison in Moscow.

Reuters contributed to this report

Updated: April 18, 2023, 1:44 PM