A Russian court Tuesday denied Wall Street Journal (WSJ) journalist Evan Gershkovich’s appeal of his detention and espionage charges. Though the proceedings were closed to the public, the Moscow City Court briefly allowed reporters inside to see Gershkovich for the first time since his March 29 arrest. He appeared in the courtroom in a dock, a glass cage-like confinement used to hold defendants in Russian trials.
Russian authorities denied Gershkovich bail and ordered that he be held in Russia’s Lefortovo prison to await trial until May 29, after which they can request a time extension. Gershkovich’s lawyers were prepared to guarantee bail of 50 million rubles ($600,000) and to agree to constraints on his movements and house arrest if granted bail, WSJ reported. The court still refused to grant bail or the appeal.
Present at the hearing was US ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, who was permitted consular access to Gershkovich for the first time since his arrest Monday. Tracy said about Gershkovich, “He is in good health and remains strong. We reiterate our call for his immediate release.”