Russia sends US reporter Gershkovich’s case to court, accuses him of working for CIA

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Russian prosecutors have sent the case of detained US reporter Evan Gershkovich to court after concluding that he collected information for the US Central Intelligence Agency about a Russian tank factory, they said in a statement on Thursday.

The office of Russia’s General Prosecutor said it had approved the indictment and that Gershkovich’s criminal case would be heard by a court in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, where the reporter was arrested in March 2023 on suspicion of espionage.

It did not say when the case would be heard.

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The Wall Street Journal, Gershkovich employer, lashed out at Russia’s “outrageous” announcement saying, “Evan Gershkovich is facing a false and baseless charge. Russia’s latest move toward a sham trial is, while expected, deeply disappointing and still no less outrageous,” Journal chief editor Emma Tucker and top executives said in a statement.

The Journal’s statement said he has so far been held 441 days “for simply doing his job. Evan is a journalist.”

“The Russian regime’s smearing of Evan is repugnant, disgusting and based on calculated and transparent lies. Journalism is not a crime. Evan’s case is an assault on free press,” the statement said.

“We had hoped to avoid this moment and now expect the US government to redouble efforts to get Evan released.”

Russian prosecutor said, “the investigation has established and confirmed with documentary evidence that Gershkovich, an American journalist for The Wall Street Journal, on the instructions of the CIA, collected secret information in the Sverdlovsk region in March 2023 about the activities of the defense plant NPK Uralvagonzavod JSC on the production and repair of military equipment."

“Gershkovich carried out the illegal actions using painstaking conspiratorial methods,” it said.

With agencies

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