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Falsely jailed WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich has prison term extended AGAIN as he approaches one year behind bars

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FALSELY jailed reporter Evan Gershkovich’s detention has been extended once AGAIN after being locked up for almost a year by Russia on bogus spy charges.

The 32-year-old innocent American will now cruelly remain in custody at a notorious Moscow jail until at least the end of June.

Evan Gershkovich pictured at court today as his jail term was extended

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Evan Gershkovich pictured at court today as his jail term was extendedCredit: AFP
The WSJ reporter was arrested almost a year ago on baseless charges

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The WSJ reporter was arrested almost a year ago on baseless chargesCredit: AFP

Gershkovich has already spent 363 long and painful days behind bars.

He was pictured looking defiant and smiling today at the closed-door hearing, standing in a glass court cage wearing a blue shirt.

At the end of January, Gershkovich had his detention extended until the end of March – which has now been dragged onto until June 30.

The Wall Street Journal reporter was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on March 29, 2023, in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg on trumped up charges of espionage.

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Putin’s spy service alleged that the reporter, acting on the instructions of the American side, collected secret information about the Russian military-industrial complex.

However, Russian officials have not yet provided any evidence to publicly back up their claims.

Both Gershkovich and the Journal vehemently deny the allegations, while Washington declares him wrongfully detained.

The US citizen has repeatedly launched appeals to secure his freedom – all have so far been rejected.

He is the first Western reporter to be jailed on espionage charges in Russia since the Soviet era, and he faces a prison term of up to 20 years if convicted.

The US ambassador in Moscow today demanded that Russia free Gershkovich and said that the Kremlin was using him and other American citizens as pawns.

Ambassador Lynne Tracy said: the latest decision to extend Gershkovich’s pre-trial detention “feels particularly painful, as this week marks one year since Evan was arrested and wrongfully detained.”

“Evans case is not about evidence, due process, or rule of law. It is about using American citizens as pawns to achieve political ends, as the Kremlin is also doing in the case of Paul Whelan.”

Whelan, a former US marine, was arrested in Moscow in 2018. He was convicted of spying and sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2020. 

The Russian Foreign Ministry has said it will consider a swap for Gershkovich only after a verdict in his trial.

But the US has previously claimed that proposals have been rejected.

During his end-of-year news conference in December, Putin said that Moscow is in “dialogue” with Washington on bringing home both Gershkovich and Whelan.

It was a sign of fresh hope when the Russian despot announced that the Kremlin “hopes” to find a solution, although he stated it’s not “easy”.

Putin said: “We have contacts on this matter with our American partners, there’s a dialogue on this issue.

“It’s not easy, I won’t go into details right now. But in general, it seems to me that were speaking a language each of us understands.”

“I hope we will find a solution,” he continued. “But, I repeat, the American side must hear us and make a decision that will satisfy the Russian side as well.”

Analysts have said that Moscow may be using jailed Americans as bargaining chips after US-Russian tensions soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

At least two American citizens arrested in Russia in recent years, including basketball star Brittney Griner, have been exchanged for Russians jailed in the US.

Putin said he hopes to find a 'solution' despite his cronies rejecting the reporter's repeated appeals for freedom

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Putin said he hopes to find a ‘solution’ despite his cronies rejecting the reporter’s repeated appeals for freedom
Outside the entrance to Lefortovo prison where he is being held - known for housing political dissidents

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Outside the entrance to Lefortovo prison where he is being held – known for housing political dissidents
Russian authorities have failed to provide any evidence against the US journalist

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Russian authorities have failed to provide any evidence against the US journalist

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