Evan Gershkovich’s espionage trial transferred to the Sverdlovsk region — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Evan Gershkovich’s espionage trial transferred to the Sverdlovsk region

Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich at an appeal hearing in Moscow, 23 April 2024. Photo: EPA-EFE/STRINGER

Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich at an appeal hearing in Moscow, 23 April 2024. Photo: EPA-EFE/STRINGER

Тhe espionage trial of Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich has been moved to the Sverdlovsk Regional Court in the city of Yekaterinburg in Russia’s Urals, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office announced on Thursday.

Gershkovich, who was arrested in Yekaterinburg in March 2023 while on assignment for the Wall Street Journal researching a story about the Wagner mercenary group, is the first US journalist to be arrested in Russia on espionage charges since the Cold War.

The Russian authorities maintain that Gershkovich was in fact spying for the CIA and attempting to collect state secrets. He has spent over a year in pretrial detention in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison.

At the time, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said that Gershkovich “collected secret information in the Sverdlovsk region about the activities of the defense enterprise JSC NPK Uralvagonzavod for the production and repair of military equipment.”

The Wall Street Journal, The US Department of State and Gershkovich’s legal team have all categorically rejected the accusations against Gershkovich.

In April 2023, Bloomberg wrote that Putin had personally approved Gershkovich’s arrest. In a February interview with US TV host Tucker Carlson, Putin raised the possibility of exchanging Gershkovich for former FSB colonel Vadim Krasikov, who is currently serving a life sentence in a German prison for the murder of a Chechen dissident.

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