Frode Berg has been behind bars in the Lefortovo prison since 5th December 2017. Archive photo: Atle Staalesen

Frode Berg sentenced to 14 years for espionage

The former border inspector from Kirkenes, Norway, does not appeal the sentence delivered by the Moscow City Court.
April 16, 2019

«Frode Berg is declared guilty of having committed a crime described by Article 276 in the Russian Criminal Code (“espionage”) and is sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment in a high security colony,» judge Andrey Suvorov said in court early the 16th April.

The 17 months that Berg has been in detention will be included in the punishment, Suvorov made clear.

Berg will also have to pay €15.000 for so-called material evidence to the Russian state, TASS reports.

Frode Berg has not plead guilty, but will still not appeal the sentence.

The court proceedings have taken place behind closed doors and the judge only read the introductory parts of the sentence, as well as the verdict. The verdict will come into force in few days whereupon Berg can submit a request for pardon.

Frode Berg’s Russian lawyer Ilya Novikov underlines that he will now work for a diplomatic agreement in the case.

ADVERTISEMENT

«For us, a happy end will be a pardon,» he says to TASS. He also expressed gratitude to the administration of the Lefortovo prison for having let Berg spend the 17 months behind bars in a cell together with an English-speaking prisoner.

Berg’s second lawyer, Norwegian Brynjulf Risnes, believes the convict will be able to return to Norway soon.

«I do not believe that Russian authorities has any interest in Berg sitting many years in a Russian prison. I am pretty confident that there will be a resolution in quite short time,» he says to Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

Berg was detained in downtown Moscow on 5th December 2017 and was soon afterwards charged with espionage against Russia. He has since been locked up Lefortovo, the Russian security service FSB’s notorious detention center.

Berg has admitted that he has cooperated with Norwegian intelligence and that he has been in Russia as courier. When detained he reportedly carried €3.000 in cash

Berg was detained in downtown Moscow on 5th December 2017 and was soon afterwards charged with espionage against Russia. He has since been locked up Lefortovo, the Russian security service FSB’s notorious detention center.

 

In Kirkenes, the hometown of Frode Berg, near Norway’s border to Russia, were portraits of the spy-accused pensioner displayed on border poles as part of a street art exhibition. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Sections
Life and Public