23 May 2023 18:42

Moscow court extends WSJ Moscow bureau reporter Gershkovich's arrest until Aug 30 in espionage case

MOSCOW. May 23 (Interfax) - Moscow's Lefortovsky District Court has granted the investigator's motion to extend by three months the arrest of Evan Gershkovich, a reporter of The Wall Street Journal's Moscow bureau, earlier charged with espionage, a court representative told Interfax.

"The court has issued a ruling with relation to Gershkovich to grant the motion of the investigators to extend the period of custody," Interfax learned from the court on Tuesday.

The court's press service earlier told Interfax that the investigators asked the court to extend Gershkovich's arrest until August 30.

The court hearing was held behind closed doors as the Gershkovich case materials are classified.

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

The journalist was later charged with espionage.

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 Gershkovich was caught red-handed

Gershkovich's defense said that he denied all charges.

The U.S. authorities described Gershkovich's arrest as unlawful, pledging to seek his release.

The journalist is being held at Moscow's Lefortovo prison.