The main part of the court hearing was held behind closed doors, as the case involved sensitive information
The Moscow City Court on Thursday upheld the decision to extend by three months the arrest of The Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich, who is accused of espionage, a TASS correspondent reports from the courtroom.
“The court considered the appeal from Gershkovich’s defense against the decision to extend his stay in custody and ruled to leave the decision of the court of first instance unchanged and the defendant’s appeal unsatisfied,” the court said.
The main part of the court hearing was held behind closed doors, as the case involved sensitive information. Journalists were allowed to sit in only when the court’s decision was read out. In late May, the Lefortovo court extended Gershkovich’s arrest by three months.
Gershkovich’s parents, who had not attended any previous hearings, were in the courtroom. For the first time since his arrest, they were allowed to have a word with their son during a break in the session. US ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy was in the courtroom, too.
According to the Public Relations Center of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), 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. FSB investigators opened a criminal case against the US citizen under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Espionage”).