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Updated Jun 13, 2024, 11:00am EDT

Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich to stand trial in Moscow

Reuters/Tatyana Makeyeva/File Photo
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Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich will stand trial in Russia on espionage charges, Russian authorities said Thursday.

Gershkovich, who was first arrested in March 2023 and has been imprisoned in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo Prison, is accused of “gathering secret information” for the CIA about a military production and repair facility in the Sverdlovsk region.

Russia has presented no evidence to support the allegations, and The Wall Street Journal and US officials have repeatedly rejected the charges as baseless.

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He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The date of the trial has not been specified.

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Gershkovich is the first American journalist to be arrested on espionage charges by Russia since US News and World Report correspondent Nicholas Daniloff in 1986 who was held for two weeks in the same infamous czarist-era prison as Gershkovich. ”Lefortovo is the most isolated place to be, and this is the torture,” Marina Litvinenko, the wife of murdered former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko told The Wall Street Journal in 2023.

Russian’s foreign ministry has said it would consider a prisoner swap for Gershkovich, but only after a verdict in his trial. In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to hint that Gershkovich could be exchanged for Vadim Krasikov, who is serving a life sentence in Germany for the 2019 killing of a Russian regime opponent.

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