The ruling indicated that the defense sought to soften pre-trial restrictions, while the prosecutor insisted on leaving the current restrictions in place
The Moscow City Court on Tuesday turned down a complaint from US national Evan Gershkovich, who works at the Moscow bureau of the Wall Street Journal and has been accused of espionage, according to a TASS reporter.
“The ruling of the court of the first instance to take Gershkovich into custody while pending trial shall be upheld, and the complaint of the defense shall be turned down,” the court ruled after holding a closed-door hearing.
The ruling indicated that the defense sought to soften pre-trial restrictions, while the prosecutor insisted on leaving the current restrictions in place.
The Public Relations Center of the Russian Federal Security Service, also known as the FSB, said that Gershkovich, “acting at the behest of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of an enterprise within Russia’s military-industrial complex.” The reporter was detained in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg. The FSB investigators opened a criminal case against the US national under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Espionage”). Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the journalist was caught red-handed. Moscow’s Lefortovsky District Court has ruled to take Gershkovich into custody until May 29. The WSJ said in a statement that it was deeply concerned about the safety of Gershkovich. US President Joe Biden asked Russia to free the journalist.