Russia Sets Hearing for Secret Trial of US Journalist in Trumped-Up Spy Case

American journalist Evan Gershkovich will face a secret trial in Russia on June 26 after being indicted on charges of espionage on Thursday.

Russia has alleged without evidence that Gershkovich, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, worked for the CIA to gather intelligence about a Russian tank manufacturer critical to Russia’s war effort. He has been held in Moscow for more than a year. According to the JournalRussian state media reported that Gershkovich’s trial will be held behind closed doors in Yekaterinburg. Gershkovich could face up to 20 years in prison on the espionage charges.

Russia’s detention and prosecution of Gershkovich is part of a pattern of similar treatment toward foreign nationals. There are at least two other American citizens imprisoned in Russia on baseless charges, including former Marine Paul Whelan.

Since his arrest, Gershkovich has been confined to his cell in the infamous Lefortovo prison for 23 hours a day and is reportedly allowed to send and receive letters as long as they are in Russian. NPR reported he is only allowed time away from his cell for meetings with attorneys, U.S. embassy staff, and court proceedings.

Russian prosecutors claimed Gershkovich was caught “red-handed” but have not publicized any evidence. The U.S. government, the Journal, and Gershkovich “vehemently deny the allegations against him” and accuse Russia of using American prisoners as bargaining chips to secure the release of Russian nationals.

Journal publisher Almar Latour and editor in chief Emma Tucker last week said, “Evan is a journalist. The Russian regime’s smearing of Evan is repugnant, disgusting and based on calculated and transparent lies.”

Original News Source – Washington Free Beacon

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