Moscow court upholds detention for alleged Norwegian spy
MOSCOW, October 30 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Tuesday upheld detention of Norwegian citizen Frode Berg charged with espionage, the court’s press service told RAPSI.
Berg will stay jailed until December 5.
Earlier, his attorney Ilya Novikov said that the Norwegian national may be swapped for Mikhail Bochkarev, a Russian citizen arrested on the same allegations in Norway. But in October, charges against Bochkarev were dropped and he was released; therefore, the exchange turned out to be impossible.
According to information in the public domain, Berg was arrested when receiving secret documents containing information on Russian navy in December 2017. These papers were allegedly given to him by Russian national Alexey Zhitnyuk, who was detained in December 2017 on suspicion of treason.
The Norwegian citizen could face up to 20 years in Russian prison if convicted. However, he has pleaded not guilty.
In September, Russian investigators authorized a supplementary expert examination in the case against Berg. According to the defense, authorization of a new examination is either an additional reason for extension of the defendant’s detention or indication of investigators’ poor job.