13:03 GMT +325 February 2018
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    'Unwitting Agent': Alleged Norwegian Spy in Russia Had No Idea of His Actions

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Norwegian citizen Frode Berg detained in Russia on suspicion of espionage could have been used as a carrier of classified documents by intelligence officers without being aware of it, Berg’s lawyer Ilya Novikov said on Thursday.

    Ilya Novikov wrote on Facebook that Berg was a retired police officer, had five grandchildren, and would not take risk of being jailed if he knew that he was carrying the classified documents in violation of law. Additionally, Berg agreed to testify before the investigators and explain his version of events after being detained, the lawyer noted.

    "A spy, who has been prepared for the possible arrest, and has been instructed how to act in this situation, would not be likely to act in such a way. Taking all this into account, I believe it is very likely that Berg was used as an unwitting agent," Novikov said.

    Berg faces 20 years in prison, Novikov pointed out, adding that foreign spies usually receive a shorter term, and the possibility of exchanging such an agent for a Russian intelligence officer is always taken into account by the authorities.

    Berg, 62, was detained in Moscow in early December by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) upon receiving documents which contained classified information concerning the Russian Navy. According to the authorities’ data, the documents were handed over to Berg by Russian police officer Alexey Zhitnyuk, who had also been arrested on suspicion of treason.

    According to Russian media reports, Russian security services suspect Berg of working for the Norwegian intelligence services, as well as the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

    On December 19, a Moscow court ruled to arrest Berg for two months as an interim measure.

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    Tags:
    Arrest, information, spy, espionage, intelligence, law, violation, court, classified, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), FSB, Ilya Novikov, Frode Berg, Russia
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