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Russia opens trial of US journalist accused of espionage

Russia opens trial of US journalist accused of espionage

Ivan Gershkovich is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal

26 June
– 12:54

(Updated at 1:03 p.m.)

The trial of American journalist Ivan Gershkovich, arrested in Russia on charges of espionage, began behind closed doors on Wednesday (26).

The Wall Street Journal reporter has been jailed since March 2023. The case is being held in Yekaterinburg court.

Gershkovich, 32, is the first Western reporter accused of spying in the country since the Soviet era.

Accredited journalists had access to a brief plenary session before work began, and the journalist was photographed in a glass box, with a shaved head and a dark dress shirt.

The professional, who worked for Agence France-Presse in Moscow between 2020 and 2022, is accused of gathering sensitive information for the CIA about Uralvagonzavod, one of the country’s main arms producers.

The next hearing will be held on August 13.

The U.S. Embassy in Russia said officials had not provided any evidence and that Gershkovich should be released immediately. He denies the allegations, as does the company, which highlights that the man was in the country for work with the Kremlin’s approval.

The US Embassy in Moscow has also accused people like him of being used as “trade goods” in prisoner exchanges.

In an interview a few months ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was willing to release the reporter in exchange for the release of Vadim Krazykov, a former Russian intelligence agent who is being held in Germany on charges of killing the former commander of Chechnya. Separatists.

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This Wednesday, however, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he could not discuss the matter because the prisoner exchange “prefers peace”. .