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Moscow Court Sentences Norway's Berg to 14 Years in Jail for Espionage

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A Moscow court has found Norwegian national Frode Berg guilty of espionage and sentenced him to 14 years in a high-security jail, a Sputnik correspondent reported Tuesday from the courtroom.

"To find Berg guilty and sentence him to 14 years of imprisonment in a high-security jail," the judge said.

Berg's lawyer Ilya Novikov told Sputnik that the sentenced Norwegian citizen would not appeal against the judgment because that would postpone an opportunity to file a petition for pardon.

"For pragmatic reasons, Berg does not see any sense in appeal as it would postpone the moment when he can ask for pardon. We will not appeal against this verdict. Ten days later when the verdict will be translated and Berg will familiarize himself with it, it will enter into force," Novikov stressed.

Berg, a retired Norwegian border agent, was arrested in Moscow in December while receiving secret information from a Russian citizen who worked at a defence company and acted under the Federal Security Service's supervision. Berg, 63, is charged with having collected data about Russian nuclear submarines on the instruction of the Norwegian intelligence service.

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The Russian authorities believe that he served as a courier to bring documents and cash for Norway's military intelligence unit known as E-tjenesten.

READ MORE: Norwegian Tried in Russia for Collecting Data On Nuclear Submarines — Prosecutor

Berg denies the accusation, while Novikov believes that that the man was most likely used as an "unwitting agent."

Norway has said it will continue to defend the interests of its national.

"We have taken note of the verdict. The Norwegian authorities will continue to protect the interests of Frode Berg in the best possible way," Ane Haavardsdatter Lunde, a spokeswoman for the ministry, said.

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