Norway police arrest citizen suspected of spying for Russia

The arrest took place at a restaurant in Oslo on Saturday during a meeting of the two, police said [NTB Scanpix/Terje Pedersen/Reuters]
Police in Oslo have arrested a Norwegian citizen suspected of illegally handing information to a Russian intelligence officer.
The man, whom the PST security police did not name on Monday, was suspected of "harming vital national interests", which could carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
The arrest took place at a restaurant in the Norwegian capital on Saturday during a meeting of the two, PST spokesman Martin Bernsen told Reuters news agency. 
"He [the Norwegian man] was arrested in the presence of the intelligence officer," said Bernsen.
Asked whether the intelligence officer was not arrested because the person was a diplomat, Bernsen declined to comment.
"We focus on the Norwegian man," he said. 
The arrested man denies any wrongdoing, his lawyer, Marianne Darre-Naess, said following an arraignment hearing at Oslo district court.
The security police are asking the court that the man be detained for four weeks.
Last year, Frode Berg, a retired Norwegian border inspector, was sentenced to 14 years in prison in Moscow after a court found him guilty of spying on Russian nuclear submarines. 
NATO member Norway normally enjoys good relations with neighbouring Russia, with which it shares a short land border.


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