Frode Berg admits that he was in Russia for the Norwegian e-service said the spokesperson for his Norwegian defence team to Dagbladet newspaper.
“We are going out with this now because there is so much speculation about this, both right and wrong, and so Frode Berg felt it was right to tell his story as he experienced it,” Brynjulf Risnes told NTB news.
The 62 year old had told his lawyers that he repeatedly travelled on behalf of the country and the Norwegian intelligence services, Dagbladet wrote.
“Frode Berg has for a long time wondered how he should handle the situation, partly because he has felt loyalty to the Norwegian authorities, hoping they would cover him. Berg now wishes for his version of the case to be known,’’ said his Norwegian lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes.
To NTB, Risnes said that Frode Berg claims to have been fooled or failed by Norwegian authorities.
“This is because he did not know or understand how serious this could be, or what consequences it could have for him,” Risnes said.
The intelligence service’s communications advisor, Kim Gulbrandsen, did not return a reply to NTB’s questions on Sunday.
“Our response is, as before, that this case is being handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said a spokesman for defense chief, Haakon Bruun-Hanssen, Captain Per-Thomas Bøe to NTB news.
Press officer Ane Lunde of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wished to inform NTB not to comment on the new information about Berg, but referred to the statement the department’s communications manager Frode O. Andersen had given to Dagbladet newspaper.
“The Foreign Service continues to work to protect Frode Berg’s interests. Among other things,through visits to the prison to provide practical assistance, and to provide attorneys,’’ said Andersen.
“It is important to know that there is still no charge and that the case is still under investigation in Russia,” he added.
Meeting in Prague
Frode Berg has been represented by Russian lawyer, Ilja Novikov, in court proceedings against the Russian Security Service FSB in Moscow. In Norway, Risnes has attempted to safeguard the interests of the Norwegians. Only recently, in the Czech Republic’s capital, Prague, the two lawyers met for the first time.
“With the information that has emerged, our client Frode Berg is sure that the man he met in Oslo last autumn and who asked him to travel to Moscow and do what led to the arrest and spy accusations, worked for the Norwegian Intelligence Service, said Novikov to Dagbladet.
Famous for the Russians
Risnes said many people have known about the new information, and that it was only a matter of time before they went public with the information.
“This isn’t unknown to Russian authorities, so from our side, this does not change anything for Frode Berg’s situation,” Risnes told NTB.
Berg has told his lawyers about the two men who asked him to bring 3,000 euros to Moscow in December last year.
According to Risnes, one man was an old acquaintance of Berg from Kirkenes, who according to Dagbladet had now received new tasks from the Intelligence Service Headquarters in Lutvann, Oslo.
According to Risnes, the Kirkenes man asked Berg to travel to Oslo to meet another person.
‘’Berg met the unknown man in a hotel room in Oslo. The man introduced himself as “Jørgen”.
He was Norwegian, and spoke the eastern dialect,” Risnes said to Dagbladet.
It was from this man, ”Jørgen”, that Berg was given several envelopes that he took with him when travelling to Russia, said Risnes.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today