November 27, 2022


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Andrej Jakunin (innfelt) og båten hans i Hammerfest

Businessman Andrei Jakunin released after a drone flight – NRK Troms and Finnmark

The verdict was delivered in the Halogaland Court of Appeal today. It may have significance for other cases that have the same subject matter.

The majority assessment was that there was no criminal offense. We are pleased to see that the Court of Appeal agrees, we are on our way to prison to speak with Jakkonen there, defense attorney Bernt Heiberg tells NRK.

Jakonen was imprisoned in Tromsø. He is the third of four Russians who have been arrested by a drone in Norway since October 11 and detained.

The basis is the sanctions imposed on Russia after the war against Ukraine.

According to the accusations, Russian-British businessman Andrei Jakunin, 47, flew illegally while on vacation in Svalbard.

He was detained in Hammerfest on October 18, but appealed the ruling.

Jakunin’s fortune is estimated at nearly 3 billion NOK. Writes forumwhich was quoted by the Delovoy Peterburg newspaper.

He could bring several lawyers in addition to his publicly appointed attorney. Bernt Heiberg and John Christian Elden of Elden Advocateverma wrote an extensive appeal seen by NRK.

Bernt Heiberg and John Christian Elden of Elden Advocaatverma attacked Jakunin prison from several angles.

Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB

They attack the arrest on three charges:

A drone is not a plane

They believe, first, that drones are not covered by the flight ban. The ban applies to “aircraft”, and this word does not have a clear definition. Drones end up on either side of the line, depending on the purpose for which they are used.

Defenders cite a letter from the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority stating that drones are not considered aircraft when used for recreational flying.

According to the Court of Appeal, the term aircraft was initially defined broad enough to include drones.

But in the sanctions regulations are still being narrowed. Two out of three judges say, “With such qualification of the aircraft covered, the relevant drones used by the accused in this case clearly fall outside the prohibition in the sanctions regulations,” they wrote.

A British citizen cannot be punished as a Russian

They also indicated that Jakunin holds British citizenship in addition to Russian citizenship. Parliament has Not Consider whether people with dual citizenship should be affected by the penalties, advocates point out.

If this is the intention, the sanctions will also affect Norwegians who hold Russian citizenship in addition to Norwegian.

Defenders concluded that the penal code affects only people with close ties to Russia.

Sanctions violate the Treaty of Svalbard

The last thing is that sanctions cannot apply to Svalbard. It would violate the Treaty of Svalbard, which required equal treatment of all who joined it. The lawyers pointed to the signatures of Great Britain and Russia.

On this point, they were opposed by professor and international law expert Geir Olfstein. he has He told NRK The treaty does not apply to aviation.

The court did not take a decision on the last two arguments, since in any case it concludes that the drones are not covered by the penalties.

Professor support

Several lawyers at the University of Oslo, including two professors, wrote an article in Bergens Tidende claiming that the Russians could not be prosecuted for flying drones in Norway.

Among other things, they emphasized that drones are not clearly defined as aircraft, and therefore are not covered by sanctions.

Thus, punishing them for flying drones is a violation of the constitution.

The problem now will be the food of the Supreme Court. The Russian who was imprisoned at the Juling Court of Appeals this week is I decided to appeal further.

The judges at Gulation do not go into more detail about whether the use of drones is a type of flight affected by the sanctions. The man’s defense lawyer also did not address this, based on what was stated in the verdict.

These are the Russians who were caught by a drone:

Oct 11: He turns 50 years old Taken at the border In Storskog. He was initially held for two weeks, and will be brought to extended detention on Thursday.

October 14: He is 51 years old Arrested at Tromsø Airport. Two weeks in pretrial detention and the appeal was rejected by the Court of Appeal.

October 17: businessman Andrei Jakunin (47) was Arrested in Hammerfest. Imprisoned for two weeks but resumed.

October 20: Russian in his thirties Arrested in Ullensvang. The Court of Appeal returned him to pretrial detention and he appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

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