OAN’s Roy Francis
10:04 AM – Tuesday, August 22, 2023
A Moscow court extended the detainment of Wall Street Journal Reporter Evan Gershkovich by three months on Thursday.
Gershkovich was initially arrested in March on espionage charges and has been in Russian custody since his arrest. The United States government denied the accusations of espionage that were made by the Russian court, saying that the reporter was wrongfully detained.
His trial was set to begin at the end of May, two months after he was arrested, but his pretrial detention was extended at the time until August 30th.
The Lefortovo Court extended the pretrial detention once again by three months until November 30th.
The Wall Street Journal released a statement after the decision was made saying that the organization was “deeply disappointed” and that the allegations against him were false.
“Today, our colleague and distinguished journalist Evan Gershkovich appeared for a pre-trial hearing where his improper detention was extended yet again,” the Journal said. “We are deeply disappointed he continues to be arbitrarily and wrongfully detained for doing his job as a journalist. The baseless accusations against him are categorically false, and we continue to push for his immediate release. Journalism is not a crime.”
The extension was announced after the request was made by Russian investigators. During a closed hearing on Thursday, the court had ruled that the Federal Security Service (FSB) would be able to keep the 31-year-old reporter detained until his new trial date on November 30th.
The Wall Street Journal, along with the U.S. government have called on the Russian government to release Gershkovich who was arrested in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,100 miles east of Moscow.
The reporter is currently being held at Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison which is infamous for its extremely harsh conditions.
The prison has held other high profile inmates such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Sovient dissident who is known for writing The Gulag Archipelago, several plotters of the failed 1991 coup against Soviet President Mikahil Gorbachev, and most recently, former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who is also being held on espionage chargers.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian government authorities have made no comments in regards to the detention of Gershkovich.
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