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The Russian Prosecutor's Office accuses WSJ journalist Evan Gershkovich of espionage

The Wall Street Journal reporter will face trial after more than a year of pre-trial detention.

Evan Gershkovich

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(AFP/Voz Media) American reporter Evan Gershkovich will face espionage charges in a Russian court in the city of Yekaterinburg.

This was reported by the prosecutor's office Thursday, which claimed to have collected evidence that the Wall Street Journal journalist worked for the CIA. Specifically, it accuses him of collecting "secret information" about the production and repair of military equipment from the tank manufacturer Uralvagonzavod. "The criminal case was sent to the Sverdlovsk Regional Court for consideration on the merits."

As of March, the reporter has spent one year behind bars since he was detained by the Russian Federal Security Service in the same city. He thus became the first American arrested on espionage charges since the Cold War.

Gershkovich, his associates, the WSJ and the White House deny the accusations.

The process will begin at the end of June

The WSJ reported that the duration of the trial is unknown, but according to Gershkovich's employer, a Russian court has scheduled the first hearing for June 26. It also noted that the trial will be conducted in secret, lacking the procedural safeguards typical of countries like the United States. Additionally, the WSJ highlighted the possibility of a prisoner swap as a potential path to freedom, following Vladimir Putin's statement in February that he was willing to negotiate with Washington.