18 Apr 2023 14:54

Moscow City Court dismisses appeal against WSJ journalist Gershkovich's arrest

MOSCOW. April 18 (Interfax) - The Moscow City Court has upheld the arrest of Evan Gershkovich, a correspondent of The Wall Street Journal's Moscow bureau charged with spying, an Interfax correspondent reported.

"The ruling of Moscow's Lefortovsky District Court, dated March 30, 2023, which placed Gershkovich under arrest until May 29, 2023, is upheld, and the appeals from lawyers are dismissed," the court said on Tuesday.

The defense asked the court for non-custodial restraint for Gershkovich.

The court met in camera, as materials in the Gershkovich criminal proceedings are classified.

Gershkovich's defense lawyer Tatyana Nozhkina said her client does not admit any wrongdoing.  

"He is pleading not guilty," Nozhkina told journalists on Tuesday.

The public relations center of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported the detention of Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen born in 1991, in late March. The FSB said that "the American was detained in Yekaterinburg while trying to obtain secret information."

According to the FSB, Gershkovich, "acting on the orders of the U.S., was gathering information about a Russian defense plant that constitutes a state secret."

Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said later that the journalist was caught red-handed.

The U.S. authorities described Gershkovich's arrest as unlawful, and said they would work on achieving his release.