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HomeInternationalUS journalist Evan Gershkovich to stand trial in Russia on espionage charges

US journalist Evan Gershkovich to stand trial in Russia on espionage charges


Wall Road Journal reporter Gershkovich is accused by Russian authorities of amassing secret info for the CIA about Uralvagonzavod, a navy tools facility in the Sverdlovsk area.

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Russian authorities have introduced that US journalist Evan Gershkovich, who has been jailed for over a 12 months on espionage charges, will likely be standing trial in the Ural Mountains metropolis of Yekaterinburg.

In accordance to Russia’s Prosecutor Common’s workplace, an indictment of the Wall Road Journal reporter has been finalised and his case filed to the Sverdlovsky Regional Courtroom in the town about 1,400 kilometres east of Moscow.

Gershkovich is accused of “gathering secret info” on orders from the CIA about Uralvagonzavod, a facility in the Sverdlovsk area that produces and repairs navy tools, the Prosecutor Common’s workplace stated in an announcement — the primary time particulars of of the allegations have been revealed.

The officers did not present any proof to again up the accusations. There was no phrase on when the trial would start.

Gershkovich was detained whereas on a reporting journey to Yekaterinburg in March 2023 and accused of spying for the US. The reporter, his employer and the US authorities denied the allegations, and Washington designated him as wrongfully detained.

The Federal Safety Service, or FSB, alleged on the time he was performing on US orders to gather state secrets and techniques but in addition offered no proof.

Uralvagonzavod, a state tank and railroad automobile manufacturing facility in the town of Nizhny Tagil about 100 kilometres north of Yekaterinburg, turned identified in 2011-12 as a bedrock of assist for President Vladimir Putin.

Plant foreman Igor Kholmanskih appeared on Putin’s annual phone-in program in December 2011 and denounced mass protests occurring in Moscow on the time as a risk to “stability”, proposing that he and his colleagues journey to the capital to assist suppress the unrest. Every week later, Putin appointed Kholmanskikh to be his envoy in the area.

Gershkovich faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted.

He was the primary US journalist taken into custody on espionage charges since Nicholas Daniloff in 1986 on the peak of the Chilly Conflict. Gershkovich’s arrest shocked international journalists in Russia, despite the fact that the nation had enacted more and more repressive legal guidelines on freedom of speech after sending troops into Ukraine.

The son of Soviet emigres who settled in New Jersey, Gershkovich was fluent in Russian and moved to the nation in 2017 to work for The Moscow Instances newspaper earlier than being employed by the WS Journal in 2022.

Since his arrest, Gershkovich has been held at Moscow’s Lefortovo Jail, a infamous czarist-era jail used throughout Josef Stalin’s purges, when executions had been carried out in its basement.

The Biden administration has sought to negotiate his launch, however Russia’s Overseas Ministry stated it might take into account a prisoner swap solely after a verdict in his trial.

For the reason that begin of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russian authorities have detained a number of US nationals and different Westerners.

US Ambassador Lynne Tracy, who commonly visited Gershkovich in jail and attended his court docket hearings, has known as the charges towards him “fiction” and stated that Russia is “utilizing Americans as pawns to obtain political ends.”

Putin has stated he believes a deal may very well be reached to free Gershkovich, hinting he could be open to swapping him for a Russian nationwide imprisoned in Germany, which appeared to be Vadim Krasikov. He was serving a life sentence for the 2019 killing in Berlin of a Georgian citizen of Chechen descent.

Requested final week by The Related Press about Gershkovich, Putin stated the US is “taking energetic steps” to safe his launch. He advised worldwide information companies in St Petersburg that any such releases “aren’t determined by way of mass media” however by way of a “discreet, calm {and professional} method”.

“They usually definitely needs to be determined solely on the premise of reciprocity,” he added in an allusion to a possible prisoner swap.

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