Kremlin Keeps Quiet on US Journalist's Espionage Trial

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.17 - 2024 12:06 PM CET

Photo: WSJ on YouTube
Photo: WSJ on YouTube
The Kremlin remains tight-lipped on the closed-door trial and exchange talks for the detained American journalist.

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The Kremlin has withheld specific information about the negotiations for the exchange of American journalist Evan Gershkovich, whose trial is set to begin on June 26 in Yekaterinburg.

Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on the decision to conduct the trial behind closed doors.

When asked whether the upcoming trial indicates any progress in the exchange talks between Moscow and Washington, Peskov referred to a recent conversation between President Vladimir Putin and news agency heads in St. Petersburg.

“He confirmed that such contacts exist. But they are ongoing and must continue in complete information silence,” Peskov stated, as reported by Interfax.

The Kremlin representative noted that no announcements or new information could be disclosed at this time.

Regarding the court’s decision to hold the trial behind closed doors, Peskov stated, “This is a court decision, we cannot comment on it.”

Espionage Charges

Evan Gershkovich, a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, was arrested in Russia on charges of espionage.

He is accused of collecting state secret information, specifically about the activities of the Uralvagonzavod defense enterprise.

Gershkovich was detained in Yekaterinburg while allegedly attempting to obtain classified information and was charged with espionage for the CIA under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code.

The Sverdlovsk Regional Court has scheduled the hearing of Gershkovich’s case for June 26.

The press service of the regional court confirmed to Interfax that “the process will be held behind closed doors.”