The lawyers of the accused spy, Frode Berg, believe there is no point in submitting a pardon application before Russia and Norway have agreed on a solution.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has still not received any application for pardon for Frode Berg according to TV 2 news. The TV channel first reported updates on the case on Friday.
According to Frode Berg’s Norwegian lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, there is no point in applying for a pardon until there are signs that Norway and Russia have agreed on the conditions for a possible release.
‘’In this case we have a person who has ended up in prison because of a spy case between Norway and Russia. Then the procedures begin and there is no point in sending the application before one knows that an agreement has been negotiated Risnes told VG.
‘’The pardon application is only a formality. The question is whether Norway and Russia have come to an agreement, and I’m not sure that they have’’ he said.
Frode Berg’s lawyers had previously stated that a pardon from Putin’s side is probably the only option for the Norwegian to be released. At a meeting between Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Høyre (H) and Putin in St. Petersburg in April, this possibility was not excluded.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed talks.According to TV 2, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has now confirmed for the first time that Norway and Russia have talked about the matter.
‘’The Norwegian authorities want Frode Berg to come home to Norway. We have communicated this to Russian authorities’ said press spokeswoman, Ingrid Kvammen Ekker.
Risnes believes it is positive that Berg is still imprisoned in Moscow and has not been transferred to a prison camp elsewhere in Russia.
‘’We think that is a sign that negotiations are in progress and that a solution could be in sight’’ he said.
In mid-April, the retired border inspector was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment for espionage in the Moscow district court. Frode Berg has now been imprisoned for 550 days in Russia.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today