A man accused of espionage is said to have met Russian agent at a restaurant in Oslo

PSTPolice Security Service Headquarters.Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / SCANPIX

A man in his 50s has been charged with espionage after several meetings with what PST believes is a Russian intelligence officer.

The police security service (PST) writes on Twitter that the man is charged with violation of the Penal Code sections 123 and 124, which deal with the disclosure of state secrets and gross disclosure of state secrets, respectively.

Violation of section 123 can be punished by a fine or up to three years’ imprisonment, while violation of section 124 can be punished by imprisonment for up to 15 years.

– The accusation is based on the fact that meetings have been held between the accused and Russian intelligence officers, said police lawyer Line Nygaard in PST after the prison meeting with the accused.

Does not admit guilt
According to Aftenposten, the man is in his 50s and lives in the Oslo area. He is a Norwegian citizen, but born abroad. He has had lawyer Marianne Darre-Næss appointed as defense counsel.

She informs NTB that the accused opposed imprisonment.

– What I can say is that he does not admit criminal guilt. He has explained himself and is willing to explain himself further to the police, Darre-Næss said after the prison meeting.

Media director Per Wiggo Richardsen in DNV GL (Det Norske Veritas) confirms to NTB that the man is employed by them.

– It is true that one of our colleagues has been arrested, says Richardsen.

VG writes that the man’s special field brings him into contact with the Norwegian defense industry and researchers in advanced defense technology.

Det Norske Veritas will now collaborate with PST to find out what has happened.

– We work closely with PST so that they get the information they need from us to ensure that they get to the bottom of the matter, Richardsen says to NTB.

Solberg oriented
Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) confirms to VG that she has been informed by PST about the arrest.

– I can confirm that I am informed. Beyond that, it is PST that must comment on the case, says Solberg.

Nor does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs want to comment on the matter.

– We are aware that PST has arrested a person, and refer to PST for comments about it, says communications adviser Siri R. Svendsen at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to NTB.

Biggest threat
PST writes in its national threat assessment for 2020 that espionage is one of the most serious threats against Norway.

According to PST, foreign intelligence is expected to direct its espionage at the Norwegian authorities, business, defense and emergency preparedness and Norwegian research communities. PST believes that Russian, Chinese and Iranian espionage pose the greatest threat, but emphasizes that the covert activities of other states can also expose Norway to danger.

In the risk assessment, PST also highlights how the recruitment or placement of spies inside Norwegian companies is a “core task” for foreign intelligence.

“An insider can have direct access to the company’s values ​​and can thus inflict significant damage on his own business through compromise, manipulation or sabotage,” writes PST.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

1 Comment on "A man accused of espionage is said to have met Russian agent at a restaurant in Oslo"

  1. Fascinating, but why would any *Norwegian* sell out to any foreign government? Norwegians have so much, thanks to being Norwegians.

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