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Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich appears before a Moscow court last June Alamy Stock Photo
Evan Gershkovich

Wall Street Journal reporter to go on trial in Russia on espionage charges on 26 June

Russia’s prosecutor general accused Gershkovich of ‘collecting secret information’ about tank maker Uralvagonzavod.

THE TRIAL IN Russia of US journalist Evan Gershkovich on espionage charges will start on 26 June, a court in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg said today.

The trial “will take place behind closed doors. The first hearing is set for 26 June, 2024″, the Sverdlovsk regional court, which is overseeing the process, said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal reporter was arrested in March 2023 while on a reporting trip in Yekaterinburg and has been held in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison since.

Last week, Russia’s prosecutor general accused him of working for the CIA and “collecting secret information” about tank maker Uralvagonzavod in the Sverdlovsk region where he was arrested.

The United States said the charges had “zero credibility” and the Wall Street Journal slammed Russia’s announcement as “outrageous”.

“Evan Gershkovich is facing a false and baseless charge. Russia’s latest move toward a sham trial is, while expected, deeply disappointing and still no less outrageous,” the Journal’s chief editor Emma Tucker and top executives said in a statement.

Moscow had not previously provided any public details of its case against Gershkovich, saying only that he was “caught red-handed”.

Gershkovich became the first Western journalist since the Soviet era to be arrested for spying in Russia when he was detained.

The 32-year-old faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

On 29 March this year, the Wall Street Journal left most of its front page blank to mark one year since Gershkovich was imprisoned in Russia.

The front page featured the headline ‘His Story Should Be Here’ above the blank space, accompanied by an image of Gershkovich in the newspaper’s signature pencil drawing.

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