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Norway intelligence files appeal against release of Russian Federation Council’s employee

Mikhail Bochkaryov has been in custody since late September
Mikhail Bochkaryov EPA-EFE/Terje Pedersen
Mikhail Bochkaryov
© EPA-EFE/Terje Pedersen

MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) has filed an appeal against the release of Mikhail Bochkaryov, a member of the Russian Federation Council’s Central Office, who was arrested on suspicion of spying. The Norwegian News Agency (NTB) reported that he remains under custody.

Oslo District Court earlier ruled to release the Russian. Now he will remain under custody until the appeal hearing, which will be held on Monday.

Lawyer for the Russian Hege Aakre told the Verdens Gang newspaper that her defendant hopes that the court of appeals will uphold the district court’s ruling. "No technical confirmation for the placed suspicions was received," she said. If the district court’s verdict remains in force, Bochkaryov will return to his homeland to his family, she added.

The Russian has been in custody since September 22. In early October, the court prolonged his arrest for two weeks at the PST’s request.

On Wednesday, Bochkaryov again gave testimony to the PST and clarified the issues left from the previous court’s session, the lawyer said. She believes that the evidential base against its defendant is growing weaker.

The Russian Embassy in Norway on September 23 confirmed the fact of the Russian citizen’s detention at Oslo Airport Gardermoen on September 21. According to the Norwegian side, Bochkaryov allegedly gathered data through wireless networks during a seminar in the Storting building. One of the reasons behind the Russian’s detention was his alleged strange behavior noted by the Storting (Norway’s parliament - TASS) employees, where Bochkaryov took part in the seminar of the European Center for Parliamentary Research and Documentation (ECPRD).