Norwegian accused of spying gets top Russian defence lawyer

Attorney Brynjulf RisnesAttorney Brynjulf Risnes.Photo: Gorm Kallestad / Scanpix

A well-known Russian lawyer with experience of spying cases has become Frode Berg’s defence advocate/lawyer.


‘We have succeeded in obtaining a very strong and well-known Moscow lawyer in Ilya Novikov,’ said Berg’s Norwegian lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, to NRK news.

According to Risnes, Novikov has previously been involved in a number of high-profile cases with significant political interests, including several spying cases.

Frode Berg had previously been appointed a Russian defence lawyer, but both Berg’s
family and Risnes have previously expressed concern about the lawyer’s independence, as he had been appointed by the Russian Security Police. Risnes therefore engaged,on behalf of Berg’s family, a senior, independent Russian advocate.

‘It is important for us to have an independent representative in Moscow in the Berg case,’he said.

The retired border inspector, Frode Berg, was arrested by the Russian security police (FSB) in Moscow on the 5th December, and is currently being held in custody until the 5th of February.

He is accused of receiving secret documents about the Russian fleet, and is charged with espionage.Russian citizen, Aleksej Zjitnjuk, is charged with treason for handing over documents to Berg, according to the accusation.

‘We lack the complete information pointing out that this is a real spying case. We know that the political climate is at the freezing point, and that these kind of accusations abound’, said Risnes.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today