A Russian court has rejected the appeal filed by U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich against his pre-trial detention.

He made his first public appearance in weeks on Tuesday when he appeared in court in Moscow.

While employed for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), he was detained in Yekaterinburg and accused of spying.

In a bulletproof glass enclosure, Mr. Gershkovich stood with his arms folded while dressed in blue checked shirt and jeans.

He stood calmly, flashed a short smile, but said nothing to the assembled reporters.

Since being detained, Mr. Gershkovich has not been seen in public.

Lynne Tracy, the US ambassador to Moscow, was also present in the courtroom along with the defendant’s attorney.

This is the same court where Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza was just convicted of treason and sentenced to prison on Monday.

News men were allowed in the courtroom at the start of the hearing before being ushered out and will be permitted to return at the end of the hearing.

Speaking outside the court after the hearing, Ms Tracy said she had been given access to Mr Gershkovich for the first time on Monday and that he was in “good health and remains strong despite the circumstances”.

“The charges against Evan are baseless and we call on the Russian Federation to immediately release him,” she said.

“He has a fighting spirit,” one of his lawyers, Maria Korchagina, said. “He’s working out and he knows that people are supporting him.”

More than 40 countries, led by the US, released a joint statement at the United Nations on Monday calling for Mr Gershkovich’s release and condemning Moscow for intimidating the media.

By gvoice

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