Russian court extends detention of Wall Street journalist Evan Gershkovich

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A Moscow court announced Tuesday that it has extended the prison term of Ivan Gershkovich, an American journalist arrested in Russia earlier this year on espionage charges, until January.

FILE PHOTO: Wall Street Journal reporter Ivan Gershkovich stands in the dock before a court hearing in Moscow, Russia to appeal a preliminary indictment on espionage charges (Reuters)

The court said Gershkovic’s detention was extended for two more months until January 30.

The 32-year-old Wall Street Journal reporter in Moscow, his employer and the US government have denied all allegations of espionage.

The hearing was held behind closed doors and no press was allowed inside.

Agence France-Presse saw a handful of reporters waiting outside the court.

Gershkovich’s prison term was almost certain to be extended, as Moscow does not release people detained pending trial on serious charges.

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Gershkovich was arrested on a reporting trip to the Ural city of Yekaterinburg in late March, becoming the first Western journalist to be arrested on espionage charges in Russia since the Soviet era.

He was imprisoned in the notorious Lefortovo prison in Moscow.

A video released by the court shows Gershkovich standing in the defendant’s steel cage during Tuesday’s hearing, wearing a checked shirt and a hooded sweatshirt.

The American, who formerly worked for the French news agency Agence France-Presse, has continued to report from Russia since the Kremlin launched its offensive in Ukraine, even as many Western journalists have left the country.

Russia has not made its case against Gershkovich public.

This story was reprinted from a wire agency feed without revisions to the text. Only the title has been changed.

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