After being detained on espionage accusations about three weeks ago, Wall Street Journal writer Evan Gershkovich made his first public appearance in Russia when a judge upheld his pretrial detention on Tuesday, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Gershkovich, who has refuted the accusations made against him, attended the hearing in Moscow City Court. The court had the option of sending Gershkovich to a different jail, allowing home arrest, or releasing him on bond; nevertheless, she eventually chose to hold him in detention until May 29.
According to the publication, Lynne Tracy, the American ambassador to Moscow, as well as Tatyana Nozhkina and Maria Korchagina, Gershkovich’s attorneys, attended the session.
Gershkovich, who has been detained since March 29 and has been dressed in blue checkered shirt and pants, attended the hearing on Tuesday while being held in a transparent detention box.
Accusing Gershkovich of gathering “information constituting a state secret about the activities of an enterprise within Russia’s military-industrial complex,” the Federal Security Service of Russia has charged him with espionage, according to state-run media outlet Tass.
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The allegations against Gershkovich have also been refuted by The Wall Street Journal and the US government. Last Monday, the U.S. State Department declared that Russian officials had “wrongfully detained” Gershkovich. Additionally, President Biden referred to the arrest as “totally illegal.”
Journalistic work is not illegal. In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “We condemn the Kremlin’s ongoing battle against the truth and its relentless persecution of independent voices in Russia.
“Mr. Gershkovich and his family will receive all necessary help from the U.S. government. We demand that Mr. Gershkovich be immediately released by the Russian Federation.
Tracy paid a visit to Gershkovich yesterday in the Lefortovo prison, the first time Russian authorities had let American officials to see him since his detention, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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