Russian man jailed for flying drone in Norway – NRK Troms and Finnmark

Passkontroll Storskog

The case was renewed on October 15 with the opinion of Jens Bernhard Herstad, the Russian defender.

A Russian citizen stopped in Storskog with drones in his luggage admits to flying with them in Norway and taking photos.

During the investigation with the police, the Russian man had been staying and traveling through Norway since August.

In total, the man’s luggage contained two drones and several electronic storage devices.

4 terabytes of film and travel footage were stored on these devices, where portions of the footage were encrypted.

Big picture stuff

– What have you found in the material so far?

– The little thing we passed over agrees with his explanation in court yesterday. So there are nature and property images, Anja Intbjor, police prosecutor in the Finnmark police district, tells NRK.

The police lawyer believes that the fact that parts of the files were encrypted could mean several things.

– You might want to protect it, unless you want others to see it, which might be a good idea.

The police believe that two days is too short to transport such a large quantity of goods, which is, among other things, the reason for remanding the man for two weeks.

Once police have an overview of the man’s photographic material, they will consider expanding fee In the case

The Russian faces up to three years in prison.

Anja Intbjor, police prosecutor in the Finnmark police district.

Photo: Knut-Sverre Horn / NRK

He says he was on vacation

The man admitted to being on a trip to Norway, but only as a casual photo-obsessed tourist.

According to the man’s bodyguard, Jens Bernhard Herstad, the 50-year-old said he had arrived in the country on a routine holiday trip.

– He went to Southern Norway and drove up to Northern Norway and Storskog. On the trip, he visited, among other things, Bergen and drove to the beach, as well as to Lillestrom. Police prosecutor Indbjør says.

In his luggage, the Russian man had three passports with him – two Russian and one Israeli.

This gives the police reason to believe that the person could escape punishment if not imprisoned.

The accused explained that it is normal for a Russian citizen to hold multiple passports.

– Explained that he has dual citizenship. So, he has Russian and Israeli passports. Indbjør says he has explained that he has two Russian passports because of the visas and multiple stamps.

East Finnmark District Court in Vatso.

NRK attended a prison meeting at Watso on Thursday afternoon, where minutes were banned.

Photo: Jan-morten Bjørnbakk / NTB scanpix

No Russian planes

Sanctions against Russia mean the Russians cannot fly drones in Norway. The Russian man, on the other hand, says he was unaware of the ban.

For now, the person has only been charged with violating these sanctions laws and regulations. That’s what the passage says Russian companies or citizens are not allowed to fly into Norway.

– Police prosecutor Indbjør tells NTB that we have detained him because he is a third-country national and has no connection to Norway.

Flight ban applies All Russian flights are over Norwegian territory, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, in addition to airspace over the Norwegian Sea region. The same applies to the use of drones.

This law came into effect after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Only one penalty

Jens Bernhard Herstad believes the only basis for detaining the man is that he is a Russian citizen.

The Guardian argued in the proceedings that filming was not mentioned in the sanctions regulations and that the Russian case should be judged like other cases where drones were flown in illegal zones. Fines are usually fines only.

The court disagreed.

Jens Bernhard Herstadt

Defense lawyer Jens Bernhard Herstad believes the police are overreacting by jailing the 50-year-old Russian. He argues that the appropriate punishment in this case is a fine.

Photo: Knut-Sverre Horn / NRK

The accused man has explained to the police that he has flown drones across the country, giving the police reason to believe that the man violated the ban several times during his travels in Norway.

A storm in a glass of water

The Russian man’s defense lawyer tells NRK on Saturday that his client is experiencing the case as a “storm in a looking glass”.

Did he collect information for Russia?

No, there is nothing to indicate that. And if you look at what happened here, it was a hobbyist photographer who brought his equipment to Norway and he brought it out of Norway.

The defender believes that a spy should have acted differently.

Had he been an experienced or hardened spy, he would never have done this. The lawyer says he did not try to take his equipment through the only border crossing between Norway and Russia.

Lawyer Jens Bernhard Herstadt

Defense lawyer Jens Bernhard Herstad says the accused did not want to hand over the encrypted files on his memory cards to the police.

Photo: Kristina Kalinina / NRK

Jens Bernhard Herstad said the accused filmed houses and apartments in several parts of eastern Norway in connection with a scheme. According to the prosecutor, shooting of socially important facilities and installations in Norway is not of interest to the Russians.

There is no indication that he did so.

The security guard says the man did not want the police to access the encrypted files on his memory cards.

Hermstad’s defense lawyer told NTB on Friday that his client would appeal the detention.

We believe that 14 days imprisonment is proportionate considering the nature of the relationship and what can be expected from the punishment. This is a situation that has never existed in Norwegian law, so you don’t know what the exact punishment is, the lawyer tells NRK on Saturday.

Payment can be extended

Police announced on Thursday that it was appropriate to extend charges against the Russian man after seeing photos taken by the man.

It will be investigated whether it was shot in illegal zones near airports and military bases.

Before and after the explosions at Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the Baltic Sea, several suspicious drones were seen at Norwegian petroleum facilities.

Several facilities in Norway are on high alert following drone activity and explosions in the Baltic Sea.

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Joshi Akinjide

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