World

Trial of US soldier Gordon Black begins in Russia

June 17, 2024
Gordon Black, who was detained on suspicion of theft, is pictured in a Russian court on June 6, 2024. The US soldier is on trial, amid increased tensions between Washington and Moscow
Gordon Black, who was detained on suspicion of theft, is pictured in a Russian court on June 6, 2024. The US soldier is on trial, amid increased tensions between Washington and Moscow

MOSCOW — A US soldier arrested in Russia on suspicion of theft, Staff Sgt. Gordon Black, has appeared in court in the Russian city of Vladivostok, as his trial got underway on Monday.

Black did not admit to charges of threatening to kill a Russian woman, but partially admitted guilt to theft charges, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

Black was arrested in May on charges of theft in Vladivostok, where he traveled to visit the woman, believed to be his girlfriend. He is accused of stealing 10,000 rubles (roughly $112) from her when he visited Russia in April after meeting her in Korea, state news agency TASS reported. The US soldier is additionally of assaulting her during a quarrel.

He was not authorized by the US Defense Department to travel to Russia and did not request official clearance to do so when he left his unit in South Korea earlier this year, according to Army spokesperson Cynthia Smith.

The trial comes against the backdrop of heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on. There are a number of Americans being held in Russia, including two who have been declared as wrongfully detained by the US State Department – Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and former Marine Paul Whelan.

Speaking to the Pervomaisky District Court on Monday, Black said he took the 10,000 rubles (roughly $112) from the woman’s purse, but the next day transferred $125 to her. He said he spent the money on food and three nights in a hotel, according to RIA.

He also said the woman was to collect a deposit of 10,000 rubles from the landlord after the end of the lease of the apartment for which he was paying, RIA said.

The female victim also spoke in court on Monday, saying she was not yet ready to reconcile with the suspect since the damage had not yet been compensated.

The next hearing is scheduled for June 19, according to RIA. — CNN


June 17, 2024
55 views
HIGHLIGHTS
World
3 hours ago

Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio as his running mate

World
12 hours ago

Rwandans vote in election expected to extend Kagame rule

World
12 hours ago

Car bomb kills Somalis watching Euro football final