Defense Appeals Detainment Of US Reporter Accused Of Espionage

Attorneys representing an American reporter from The Wall Street Journal who was detained in Russia over alleged espionage have appealed his arrest, a Russian court indicated Monday.

The 31-year-old Evan Gershkovich was reportedly apprehended last week in Russia’s fourth-largest city, Yekaterinburg.

A hearing at Moscow’s Lefortovsky District court held Thursday determined that Gershkovich would remain locked up for at least two months as an investigation into his alleged charges takes place.

The American journalist has been placed in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, which according to Newsmax symbolizes repression from the Soviet era since its construction during the reign of czarism.

An appeal against Gershkovich’s apprehension was put forth by his defense on Monday, according to Russian media. A time for a hearing has not yet been arranged.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson reacted to the arrest, noting that Gershkovich is facing 20 years in prison for espionage as he sits in pretrial detention. He also blasted the Biden administration over its response, attacking Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken for making public statements against Russia’s lack of “press freedom” rather than negotiating behind the scenes.

“Obviously, that’s not gonna work… and they almost certainly know it’s not gonna work,” Carlson claimed. “But they’re doing it anyway.”

In a press briefing on the matter, Karine Jean-Pierre referred to the charges as “ridiculous,” asserting that Evan is not a spy and has never been one.

She added, “This is a case that is a priority for the president.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reportedly spoken on the phone with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Blinken apparently demanded Gershkovich’s immediate release, with his request evidently falling flat on its face. He also asked about Paul Whelan, a former US Marine who was arrested in Russia on espionage charges in 2018, years before the detainment and subsequent release of the infamous marijuana-using American women’s basketball player Brittney Griner.

Upon being asked what his message was to Russia in wake of Gershkovich’s arrest, Joe Biden simply said to a group of White House reporters, “Let him go.”