Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gerskovich, who has been held in Russia on what he, his employer and the US government say are bogus espionage charges since March, had an appeal for his release rejected by a Moscow court on Tuesday , according to reports.
The court rejected Gershkovich’s appeal against a three-month extension of his pretrial detention after a closed hearing, Reuters reported, noting that the Russian court’s press service did not provide an explanation for the decision. Therefore, Gerskovich will remain in custody until at least November 30.
The 31-year-old American citizen was arrested in the city of Yekaterinburg, about 1,200 miles east of Moscow, while on a reporting trip on March 29.
RUSSIAN COURT RULES WSJ REPORTER EVAN GERSHKOVICH, FACING ESPIONAGE CHARGES, CAN REMAIN STATE UNTIL NOVEMBER
Gershkovich has since been held in Moscow’s Lefortovo detention center, notorious for its harsh conditions. Last month, a court in Moscow extended his detention until the end of November. He and his employer deny the allegations and the US government has declared him wrongfully detained.
According to Reuters, Russia’s state news agency RIA reported that his appeal on Tuesday was sent back to a lower court due to unspecified “procedural violations.”
The espionage charges could carry up to 20 years in prison, and a trial date has not yet been set.
Russia’s Federal Security Service claims that Gershkovich, “on instructions from the American side, collected information that constitutes a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.” Russian authorities have not provided any evidence to support the espionage allegations.
JAILED WSJ REPORTER EVAN GERSHKOVICH US AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA VISIT: SAYS HE’S IN ‘GOOD HEALTH’
Gershkowitz is the first American reporter to face espionage charges in Russia since September 1986, when Nicholas Danilov, a Moscow correspondent for US News and World Report, was arrested by the KGB.
Tuesday’s court appearance comes after US Ambassador to Russia Lynn Tracy visited Gershkowitz on Friday, according to a statement from the US Embassy in Moscow.
The ambassador has visited Gershkowitz in prison several times since his arrest, most recently in August.
After her visit on Friday, the US embassy told X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that Gershkowitz “remains strong and is following the news – including his parents’ appearance at the UN this week” and reiterated the call to release him and another American jailed in Russia on espionage charges, Paul Whelan.
Tracy’s visit came a day after Gershovitch’s parents and sister appeared at United Nations headquarters in New York and called on world leaders to urge Russia to release the journalist.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The Russian Foreign Ministry had previously said it would consider an exchange for Gershkovich — similar to the exchange of WNBA star Brittney Griner for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Butt — only in the event of a verdict in his trial. In Russia, espionage investigations and trials can last more than a year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.