World News

Norway police arrest a man suspected of spying for Russia

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian police have arrested a Norwegian citizen suspected of illegally handing information to a Russian intelligence officer, the PST security police said on Monday.

The man, whom PST didn’t name, 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 Oslo on Saturday during a meeting of the two, PST spokesman Martin Bernsen told Reuters.

“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-Næss, said following an arraignment hearing at Oslo district court.

The security police is asking the court that the man be detained for four weeks.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Nora Buli, editing by Gwladys Fouche and Nick Macfie