Politics, Asia - Pacific

Trial of WSJ correspondent arrested in Russia for espionage to begin on June 26

Hearing by Sverdlovsk region court in Yekaterinburg to be closed to public

Elena Teslova  | 17.06.2024 - Update : 17.06.2024
Trial of WSJ correspondent arrested in Russia for espionage to begin on June 26


The trial of Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich arrested in Russia on espionage charges will begin on June 26 in the city of Yekaterinburg, the Sverdlovsk region court said on Monday.

The hearing in the criminal case against the US citizen will be closed to the public.

"The Sverdlovsk Regional Court received a criminal case against a US citizen Evan Gershkovich. ... The process will take place in closed mode. The first court hearing is scheduled for June 26. Judge Andrey Mineev will consider the case," the press release said.

Gershkovich was detained in Russia in March 2023 on charges of espionage.

The Federal Security Service accused him of collecting state secrets about the military-industrial complex. Gershkovich and the WSJ have denied the claims, insisting he was simply doing his job as a journalist.

Asked about the possibility of Gershkovich's exchange for a Russian citizen imprisoned in Western countries, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said "contacts are underway." "There are such contacts. They are going on and should continue to be conducted in complete silence. There can be no announcements here," he said.

Meeting with heads of international news agencies on June 5, President Vladimir Putin said the US "is indeed taking vigorous steps to secure his release," adding that "such issues are not resolved through the media, they require quiet, calm and professional approach and dialogue between intelligence agencies."

"And of course, they absolutely have to be resolved on the basis of reciprocity. The relevant services of the United States and Russia are in touch on this issue," he added.

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