Andrey Yakunin at the mountain summit north on Spitsbergen where he flew the drone in 2022. Photo: Private

Son of Putin's ally acquitted of illegal drone flight in Norway

The reason for the acquittal - he was not aware that what he did was illegal.
February 14, 2024


Andrey Yakunin - the son of one of Vladimir Putin’s former closest allies Vladimir Yakunin - has been again acquitted by Nord-Troms and Senja district court of the illegal flight of a drone from his yacht on Svalbard in autumn 2022. 

Andrey Yakunin has a dual Russian-British citizenship, meanwhile, Russian citizens are not allowed to use drones in Norway after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“The most important thing for Yakunin is to be believed that he has done nothing wrong during his holiday trip to Svalbard almost 2 years ago”, lawyer John Christian Elden is quoted in the official press release published by Yakunin’s legal team. “Andrey Yakunin has claimed his innocence from the start, and that he did everything he could to make sure that his drone activities during his stay in Svalbard were legal, which is also the basis of the district court’s acquittal of Yakunin.” 

According to the press release, Yakunin now hopes that the prosecution will know when to stop, and that there will be no further appeals to this case, now that he has been acquitted for the third time by a Norwegian court. 

Prosecutor Jan Glent says to broadcaster NRK that the court’s ruling will be appealed. 

Andrey Yakunin’s sailing yacht “Firebird” docked in Tromsø, northern Norway. Photo: Elizaveta Vereykina



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