© Reuters. Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in March while on a reporting trip and accused of espionage, stands behind a glass wall of an enclosure for defendants before a court hearing to consider an appeal against his detention, in M

(Reuters) – U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich has appealed against the latest extension of his pre-trial detention in Moscow on spying charges that he denies, Russian state media said on Saturday.

TASS news agency quoted a Moscow court as saying it had received the appeal from the defence team of the Wall Street Journal reporter.

Gershkovich was arrested on March 29 in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg on spying charges that carry up to 20 years in prison. No date has been set for his trial, and on Thursday his detention in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison was extended by three months to Nov. 30.

He has failed in two previous appeals, in April and June.

The United States says Russia is using Gershkovich to conduct “hostage diplomacy”, at a time when Moscow’s war in Ukraine has plunged relations with Washington to their lowest point in more than 60 years.

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Washington says the case against him is bogus and has demanded the release of both Gershkovich and Paul Whelan, a U.S. citizen convicted of espionage in 2020 and serving 16 years in a Russian penal colony on spying charges that he too denies.

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