Evan Gershkovich: American journalist seen with shaved head before the start of the espionage trial in Russia | World News

The American citizen was first arrested and imprisoned in March 2023 on charges of “gathering secret information” and a closed-door trial will begin today at the Sverdlovsky regional court in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city.

Wednesday 26 June 2024 07:50, United Kingdom

Evan Gershkovich has been seen before the start of his closed-door trial in Russia accused of espionage.

Journalists were allowed to film briefly the american journalist Wednesday before the start of the hearing in the city of Yekaterinburg, where he faces espionage charges, which he denies.

Mr. Gershkovich was seen standing in a glass box, with his head shaved.

The journalist makes a heart-shaped gesture at a previous court appearance. Reuters Photo

The Wall Street Journal journalist was first arrested and detained in March 2023 after Russia He claimed that he had been “gathering secret information” on orders from the CIA.

The 32-year-old reporter, who has already spent almost 15 months behind bars in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison, faces 20 years in prison if convicted.

Russian courts convict more than 99% of defendants who appear before them, and prosecutors can appeal sentences they consider too lenient, and can even appeal acquittals.

Last week, The first details of the accusations against him have emerged. He was alleged to have sought details about Uralvagonzavod, a facility that produces and repairs military equipment, the prosecutor general’s office said.

Authorities have not publicly revealed any evidence to support the allegations.

The trial will be held behind closed doors, something Russia considers normal in espionage cases.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Stay up to date with the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Click here

Gershkovich, his employer and the US government strongly deny the claims and Washington has declared him wrongfully detained.

“Evan has done nothing wrong. He should never have been arrested in the first place. Journalism is not a crime,” US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said last week.

He added: “The charges against him are false. And the Russian government knows they are false. He should be released immediately.”

The White House has tried to negotiate Gershkovich’s release, but Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Moscow would consider a prisoner swap only after a trial verdict.

This is a limited version of the story, so unfortunately this content is not available.

Open the full version

He was the first American journalist to be arrested on espionage charges since Nicholas Daniloff in 1986, at the height of the Cold War.

It came after an offensive against freedom of expression after Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be posted shortly.

Please refresh the page to get the full version.

You can receive breaking news alerts on a smartphone or tablet via Sky News app. You can also follow @SkyNews on X or subscribe to our Youtube Channel to stay up to date with the latest news.

Related Articles

Back to top button