Jailed U.S. Reporter To Stand Trial In Russia On Espionage Charges



American journalist Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, will stand trial in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on charges of spying for the CIA. Russian authorities announced on Thursday (June 13) that an indictment had been finalized, and the case has been filed to the Sverdlovsk Regional Court.

Gershkovich was arrested in March 2023 while on a reporting trip in Yekaterinburg and has been imprisoned for over a year. He, his employer, and U.S. officials have consistently denied the charges, labeling them as baseless.

Russian prosecutors claim that Gershkovich collected secret information about a military factory in the Sverdlovsk region on assignment from the CIA. However, no evidence has been provided to support these allegations.

The trial's commencement date has not been announced yet. If convicted, Gershkovich could face up to 20 years in prison. This case marks the first time a U.S. journalist has been taken into custody on espionage charges since Nicholas Daniloff in 1986.

The Biden administration has been actively seeking Gershkovich's release. However, Russia's Foreign Ministry stated that it would consider a prisoner swap only after a verdict in his trial. President Vladimir Putin hinted at a potential prisoner exchange, suggesting he would be open to swapping Gershkovich for a Russian national imprisoned in Germany.

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