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Norwegian spy arrested in Moscow

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Moscow’s Lefortovo District Court gave the go-ahead to arrest Norwegian national, Frode Berg, accused of espionage, Yekaterina Krasnova, a court spokesperson, informed TASS (Russia) on Tuesday.

"The court satisfied the prosecutors’ motion imposing to remand the defendant Berg in custody until February 5, 2018," she said. Charges were filed against him under Section 276 of Russia’s Criminal Code ("Espionage").

According to the spokesperson, the court received an appeal against this decision. However, the date for the court hearing in Moscow City Court has still not been set.

According to media reports, FSB officers detained Frode Berg in Moscow during a special operation where classified documents illegitimately changed hands. Investigators believe that a Russian citizen, Alexey Zhitnyuk, who is accused of high treason (Section 275 of Russia’s Criminal Code) handed over documents on the Russian Navy to Berg. The Lefortovo District Court handed down an order to arrest Zhitnyuk in late November.


Russia is holding a Norwegian man on suspicion of spying after he allegedly received classified documents from a Russian man who is also under arrest, an official said on December 19, reported Radio Free Europe (US).

Frode Berg was ordered held in custody by Moscow's Lefortovo District Court on December 6, the Interfax news agency quoted court spokeswoman Yekaterina Krasnova as saying.

Berg has appealed the decision but a date for the hearing on his appeal has not yet been set, Krasnova said.

Russian media reports cited unnamed sources as saying that Berg was caught receiving classified material about the Russian Navy that he allegedly planned to hand over to Norwegian and U.S. intelligence agencies.

According to Interfax, Russian authorities allege that Berg was given the classified material by Aleksei Zhitnyuk, a Russian man who was arrested in late November on suspicion of treason.

Norwegian media reports said that Berg, 62, is a former border inspector and that the Norwegian Foreign Ministry was working to provide him with assistance.

Some reports suggested his arrest could be linked to what they said was his opposition to the construction of a fence along a small part of Norway's short border with Russia near a border crossing.

Norway built the 200-meter fence in 2016 after thousands of asylum seekers, many of them from Syria, crossed from Russia into Norway at the border post.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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