WORLD

US reporter Evan Gershkovich, jailed in Russia on espionage charges, to stand trial, officials say

Jun 13, 2024, 6:15 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — U.S. reporter Evan Gershkovich, jailed in Russia on espionage charges, will stand trial in the city of Yekaterinburg, Russian authorities said Thursday.

Russia’s Prosecutor General’s office said an indictment of Gershkovich has been finalized and his case was filed to the Sverdlovsky Regional Court in the city in the Ural Mountains.

Gershkovich is accused of “gathering secret information” about a facility in the Sverdlovsk region that produced and repaired military equipment, the Prosecutor General’s office said in a statement, revealing for the first time the details of the accusations against the jailed reporter. Gershkovich has been charged with espionage.

The officials didn’t provide any evidence to back up the accusations.

Gershkovich was detained while on a reporting trip to Yekaterinburg in March 2023 and accused of spying for the U.S. The Federal Security Service, or FSB, alleged at the time he was acting on U.S. orders to collect state secrets but also provided no evidence. Washington designated him as wrongfully detained.

He was the first U.S. journalist taken into custody on espionage charges since Nicholas Daniloff in 1986 at the height of the Cold War. Gershkovich’s arrest shocked foreign journalists in Russia, even though the country had enacted increasingly repressive laws on freedom of speech after sending troops into Ukraine.

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