MOSCOW, May 3. /TASS/. Moscow’s Lefortovsky court extended for three months the arrest of Norwegian citizen Frode Berg detained in Russia in late 2017 on espionage charges, a court spokeswoman, Yekaterina Krasnova, told TASS on Thursday.
"The court satisfied the investigators’ motion and extended Berg’s custody until August 5," the spokeswoman said.
Frode Berg, 62, was detained in Moscow on December 5, 2017 during a special operation of the Federal Security Service when he was receiving secret documents. He is charged with spying under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code. The investigators say the documents concerning Russia’s Navy were handed over to Berg by Russian citizen Aleksey Zhitnyuk.
Berg’s lawyers say he pleads not guilty but admits his cooperation with Norwegian intelligence agencies. According to the lawyers, their client admits he visited Russia as a courier for the Norwegian Intelligence Service but did not understand what he was doing and was unaware of possible consequences. The Norwegian authorities refused to comment on Berg’s statement.
Berg had worked at a checkpoint on the Norwegian-Russian border for more than 20 years. He was inspector of the Border Commissariat subordinated to the Norwegian Justice Ministry and responsible for the implementation of the bilateral treaty on the Russian-Norwegian border and the procedure of the settlement of border conflicts and incidents. Berg, who lives in the Norwegian town of Kirkenes, nine kilometers from the Russian border, retired in 2014.