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Lawyer Barred from Courtroom as WSJ Reporter Detained in Russia Denies Spying Charges

HeadlineMar 31, 2023

In Russia, Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich pleaded “not guilty” Thursday to charges of espionage during a brief appearance at a court in Moscow. Gershkovich’s lawyer said after the hearing that he was not allowed in the courtroom and not allowed to see the charges against his client.

Daniil Berman: “They held a quick hearing. I don’t know how long it lasted. Three minutes, 15 minutes, I don’t know. And that’s it. And after that, as far as I understand, again, I can only guess what position has been taken. Evan was taken away from here with a decision to hold him in custody.”

Gershkovich was ordered to be held in custody until May 29. The Wall Street Journal denied the allegations and is seeking his immediate release. The Biden administration called the espionage charges “ridiculous” and demanded immediate consular access to Gershkovich. Many foreign news organizations pulled out of Russia last year after President Vladimir Putin signed a law making it a crime to disseminate what the Kremlin calls “fake” information about the invasion of Ukraine.

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