Russian court rejects jailed US journalist Gershkovich's detention appeal

A Moscow court on Tuesday denied US journalist Evan Gershkovich's appeal against the extension of his pre-trial detention in the espionage case that he and American authorities have rejected as false.

Gershkovich, 32, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has been in Moscow's notorious Lefortovo prison for more than a year after he was arrested while on a reporting trip to Russia.

He is the first Western journalist since the Soviet era to be arrested by Moscow on spying charges – accusations that he, his employer and the US government reject.

"The first court of appeal ruled that the order of 26 March 2024 on the extension of the preventative measure should be left unchanged," judge Alexander Pushkin said in Tuesday's hearing, an AFP journalist reported from the court.

The hearing was a technical appeal against an earlier decision to keep Gershkovich in detention at least until June 30 pending a trial, it did not concern the merits of the case.

The reporter – who used to work for AFP and The Moscow Times in the Russian capital – stood in a glass dock in the courtroom, wearing dark trousers, a white t-shirt and a dark shirt.

He smiled and gave a thumbs-up when a reporter asked him how he was doing.

Moscow has not provided any public details of its case against Gershkovich, saying only that he was "caught red-handed" in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg last March.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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