WSJ reporter to remain in Russian jail after latest appeal is denied

A Moscow court denied Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich’s latest attempt to appeal his pre-trial detention on espionage charges, according to Russian state media.

The journalist has been sitting in jail awaiting a trial date since March, when he was arrested during a reporting trip. He was deemed wrongfully detained by the White House.

Gershkovich’s pre-trial detention has been extended twice since his arrest. His appeal against his first pre-trial detention was also rejected.

The latest decision to decline was made without explanation by the court’s press service, who announced the decision, according to NBC News. State news agency RIA said the appeal was routed to a lower court due to unspecified “procedural violations,” NBC said.

Gershkovich still does not yet have a trial date. In August, his detention in the Lefortovo prison — which is notorious for its harsh conditions — was extended three months, meaning he will remain there until at least Nov. 30. 

If convicted, the reporter faces up to 20 years in jail. 

Gershkovich’s imprisonment has been a source of tension between the U.S. and Russia. President Joe Biden has maintained that his administration is putting forth its best efforts to get the WSJ journalist home. There have been talks of a prisoner swap, but no deal has been reached.