Support The Moscow Times!

Norway Extends Detention of Russian Suspected of Spying

EPA\TASS

A court in Norway extended the detention of a Russian citizen suspected of spying at the Norwegian parliament for another two weeks on Thursday, despite Moscow's protests, his lawyer said.

The Russian foreign ministry has demanded that Norway lifts "the absurd charges" and releases Mikhail Bochkaryov, whom it identified as a staff member of the Russian parliament's upperhouse.

"My client disagrees with the decision, and has already appealed it to the higher court," his Norwegian lawyer, Hege Aakre, told Reuters.

The Oslo District Court has not yet confirmed the extension in its official communications.

Bochkaryov was detained on Sept. 21 at the Oslo airport before a flight out of the country after attending a seminar on digitalization at Norway's parliament, Stortinget.

The Norwegian police security service, the PST, asked the court to extend the detention, arguing that he might destroy evidence or leave the country, if freed.

The PST was not immediately available for comment.

Aakre said she expected the Borgarting Court of Appeals to hold a hearing on the grounds for continued detention on Friday or Monday at the latest.

The appeals court last week upheld the decision to detain Bochkaryov for an initial two weeks period, citing evidence that he had collected information from computer and wireless networks at the parliament.

"It is not probable that the suspect acted alone," it added.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.