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Norway lacks evidence to back ‘espionage’ charges against detained Russian, says attorney

On September 23, the Russian diplomatic mission in Norway confirmed the arrest of a Russian national on espionage charges

MOSCOW, September 24. /TASS/. There is no clear-cut evidence to prove that the Russian national detained in Norway last week illegally collected information, the Russian’s lawyer Hege Aakre told the Verdens Gang newspaper on Monday.

"He was attending a job-related seminar, there were no other reasons other than business. I can say that his work is related to the conference that he attended in Oslo," she specified.

"They think there are some suspicious observations but apart from that, there is no clear-cut evidence to prove that he was collecting information. They were on the lookout and reported everything that seemed suspicious to them but he provided a good explanation of what could have happened," the lawyer said, adding "if this is so, then he hasn’t committed any crime."

On Sunday, the Russian Embassy in Norway confirmed the arrest of a Russian national at Oslo Airport. The diplomatic mission said on Facebook that the detained individual was being provided with the necessary consular assistance and his rights and interests were being protected. At the same time, the embassy believes that the Russian was detained based on trumped-up allegations using a ludicrous excuse.

According to the Verdens Gang newspaper, the Russian is 51 years old. His lawyer told the paper that her client could not understand the reasons for his detention and considered it all to be a misunderstanding. The lawyer added that some electronic devices had been seized from the man, though she did not specify what kind of devices they were.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian News Agency reported that the detained was cooperating with the investigation.