Evan Gershkovich’s appeal in Russia is blocked as Putin detains an innocent WSJ reporter on trumped-up charges

WALL Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich’s recent appeal was blocked by a judge in Moscow after he was jailed on trumped-up espionage charges.

The 31-year-old American appeared in a glass-walled dock after being taken from the harsh prison where he has been held since March.

Evan Gershkovich is in court today for his appeal hearing

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Evan Gershkovich is in court today for his appeal hearingPhoto credit: Reuters
The wrongly imprisoned journalist stood upright behind his glass cage

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The wrongly imprisoned journalist stood upright behind his glass cagePhoto credit: AFP

He appealed a Moscow judge’s earlier decision to extend his pre-trial detention until the end of November.

But today the judge refused to hear the case and instead referred it to a lower court for “procedural violations.”

Gershkovich smiled bravely from behind the defendant’s glass cage in a yellow sweater and kept his hands in the pockets of his jeans.

US Ambassador Lynne Tracy was present at the hearing.

The US journalist was arrested on March 29 on trumped-up charges of “espionage,” which Gershkovich, Washington and the WSJ vehemently deny.

Russian officials have not yet provided any public evidence to support their claims.

No official date has been set for his trial, but Putin’s spies continue to extend his detention – which today stands at 174 days.

He will now suffer behind bars in the notorious Lefortovo prison until at least November 30th.

The WSJ’s Moscow correspondent’s pre-trial detention was originally scheduled to end on May 29 – but requests for release were repeatedly rejected.

This expiration was postponed until August 30th and then extended until the end of November.

He failed in two previous appeals, in April and June.

According to Moscow criminal law, the 31-year-old could face an extension of his pre-trial detention by up to twelve months.

Putin’s arrest of Evan has previously been branded internationally as a “cowardly act” as the despot desperately tries to evade responsibility for his war in Ukraine.

His arrest marked an increasingly violent crackdown on media freedom in Russia.

It is the first time since the end of the Cold War that Russia has opened an espionage case against a foreign journalist. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

His employers called the arrest “a vicious affront to the free press” that should “provoke outrage among all free people and governments around the world.”

“No reporter should ever be arrested just for doing their job,” The Journal added.

Washington has repeatedly said the allegations against Gershkovich are false and baseless and called for his immediate release.

They have deplored his “unlawful detention” as a method of “hostage diplomacy” designed to give Russia leverage at the negotiating table at a time when relations between the two countries have fallen to their lowest level in more than 60 years.

U.S. officials said in July that despite high-level discussions, there was still no clear “pathway” to bring him home.

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Moscow has said no exchange can take place in the Gershkovich case until a verdict is reached.

Press freedom advocates have also urged others to show their support for Evan by flooding social media with the message #IStandWithEvan.

Gershkovich was wrongfully detained for 174 days

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Gershkovich was wrongfully detained for 174 daysPhoto credit: Reuters

PaulLeBlanc

PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: paulleblanc@dailynationtoday.com.

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