28 Nov 2023 11:18

Moscow court extends WSJ reporter Gershkovich's arrest until Jan 30

MOSCOW. Nov 28 (Interfax) - The Lefortovsky District Court of Moscow has extended the arrest of Evan Gershkovich, the reporter of The Wall Street Journal's Moscow bureau charged with espionage.

"The court issued a ruling on November 28 to extend Evan Gershkovich's custody term by two months, to ten months in total, i.e. until January 30, 2024," a court spokesperson said.

The court session was held behind closed doors since the Gershkovich case materials are classified.

On March 29, the public relations department of the Federal Security Service said that Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen born in 1991, was detained in Yekaterinburg. The journalist was "acting on the orders of the U.S., gathering information about a Russian defense plant that constitutes a state secret," FSB said. "The American was detained in Yekaterinburg while trying to obtain secret information," it said.

Gershkovich faces from 10 to 20 years in prison.

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

Gershkovich pled not guilty, his defense team said. U.S. authorities said his arrest was illegal and are seeking to secure his release. The journalist is being held at the Lefortovo pretrial detention facility in Moscow.