17.05.2022

Norway Arrests Man Suspected of Spying for Russia

Norway’s intelligence service said Monday its agents had arrested a Norwegian man suspected of passing sensitive information to Russia.

“The man is formally suspected of providing information to a foreign country that could damage fundamental national interests,” the PST intelligence agency wrote on Twitter.

A PST official later confirmed the country in question was Russia.

“The person arrested held meetings with an officer from the Russian intelligence agency,” Line Nyvoll Nygaard told TV2 Nyhetskanalen television.

Meanwhile, DNV GL, a company that provides certification for insurance purposes for the maritime, oil and gas and renewables industries, confirmed the suspect was one of its employees.

“Through his position (he) had access to information which, in our opinion, could be of great interest and significance to other countries and other actors,” Nyvoll Nygaard said.

The man, aged 50, was arrested on Saturday in an Oslo restaurant after having met the Russian officer, the PST said.

A judge on Monday ordered the man detained in custody for four weeks, the first two in isolation.

According to his lawyer, he denies any wrongdoing. He risks up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of espionage.

Russia’s embassy in Oslo has not commented on the arrest.

In its annual report published in February, PST warned of the risk of espionage in several sectors of society – political, financial, defense and research circles, among others – singling out Russia, China and Iran as particular threats.

In recent decades several spy cases have marred ties between NATO member Norway and Russia, which share a border in the Arctic Circle.

‘Blame the Russian Federation for My Death,’ Journalist Writes Before Self-Immolation

A Russian journalist has died after setting herself on fire outside police headquarters in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, Russian media reported Friday.

Irina Slavina, the editor-in-chief of the KozaPress news outlet died at the scene, the Baza and 112 Telegram channels reported.

“I ask you to blame the Russian Federation for my death,” Slavina wrote on her Facebook page about an hour before her death.

The previous day, she said local security forces raided her home in search of evidence of her involvement with the opposition.

“They were looking for brochures, leaflets, invoices of pro-democracy movement Open Russia, possibly an icon with the face of exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky,” she wrote following the early-Thursday raid.

“I don’t have any of this,” she wrote in her Facebook post. “But they took away what they found — all the flash drives, my laptop, my daughter’s laptop, the computer, phones — not just mine, but also my husband’s — a bunch of my notebooks that I scribbled on during press conferences. I’m left without the means of production.”

Regional investigators said they have launched a pre-investigation check into the death but have not confirmed Slavina’s identity.

Pavel Chikov, head of the international human rights group Agora, wrote that the organization previously worked with Slavina after the authorities opened cases against her for “disrespect for the authorities” and spreading “fake news.” The group had filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights on her behalf, he added.

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