Frode Berg, who has been imprisoned in Moscow since December last year, is being charged with espionage and is now receiving support for legal expenses from the Norwegian state.
This has been confirmed by Berg’s Norwegian lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, to the NRK.
“More expenses may come, such as traveling and the like, but it seems that they understand that the case is special and that it is important that Frode Berg and his family get the support they need in this situation,” he said to the national counterpart.
He believes it is high time, indicating that the charges are primarily aimed at the Norwegian state.
“From the Russian side, this is primarily an accusation against Norway and not against Frode Berg. It is Norway who is being accused of espionage. Then it seems very strange if Norway did not cover the expenses for him who has ended in this vulnerable situation,” Risnes says.
Previously, the lawyer has been denied the application for free legal aid for the retired border inspector.
That the Norwegian state now wants to be the one who pays for Berg’s lawyers both in Norway and Russia is good news for both Berg’s family and the local community in Kirkenes, Risnes believes. He also points out that the support group for Frode Berg can now begin to step down their work on fundraising. So far, they have collected 160,000 kroner for visiting services, welfare measures in prison, and legal assistance.
Currently, Berg is detained in Russia until May 5th. He was arrested by the Russian Security Police FSB in Moscow on the 5th of December. He then had 3,000 euros in cash. FSB believes the 62-year-old has spied on behalf of Norwegian intelligence.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today