June 5, 2023


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The Supreme Court ruled that it is illegal for the Russians to use drones – NRK Troms and Finnmark

When the Halogaland Court of Appeal heard the case on Thursday, it was proven There is no legal ban Against the ability of the Russians to fly drones. But this interpretation of the law is wrong. The three justices on the Supreme Court’s Appeals Committee will confirm that tonight.

Thus, the question of arrest is returned to the Court of Appeal.

Drones are like other planes

And the detainee Andrei Yakunin is the son of the oligarch Vladimir Yakunin, and his supposed fortune is close to three billion kroner. Writes forumwhich was quoted by the Delovoy Peterburg newspaper.

Andrey Yakunin said he used a drone in Svalbard to take pictures of nature.

He was arrested in Hammerfest on 17 October, accused of flying a drone in Svalbard. He then set sail from Longyearbyen a few weeks ago in a 27-metre sailboat “Firebird”.

Defenders of the Yakunin argued that it is not clear that the drone is an “aircraft”. The term is used in both aviation law and penal regulations, but is not used in the same way.

However, the Appeals Committee of the Supreme Court believes that it is clear that the drones should be treated like all other aircraft, and that the Russians are prohibited from flying in Norway.

“The fact that other regulations may have a narrower use of the terminology such that in some contexts drones (…) are excluded from the Aircraft Regulations, (…) is not critical to the interpretation of the sanctions regulations,” the Appeals Committee writes in the ruling.

The Russian accused remains in prison until a final decision is made.

More unresolved questions

When the ruling is overturned, it means that you must return to the Hålogaland Court of Appeal for a new hearing.

The result of the next round has not yet been announced. The defenders gave two other reasons for not punishing Yakunin for the flight:

One is that He holds British citizenship in addition to Russian. Parliament has Not Consider whether persons with dual citizenship should be affected by the penalties. If this is the intention, the sanctions will also affect Norwegians who hold Russian citizenship in addition to Norwegian.

Attorney Bernt Heiberg and attorney Jens Bernhard Herstad.

Attorney Bernt Heiberg and attorney Jens Bernard Herstad after they met their client in Tromsø prison Thursday evening.

Photo: Aurora Berg/NRK

The final argument is that sanctions cannot apply to Svalbard. Lawyers claim that this would violate the Treaty of Svalbard, which required equal treatment of all who joined it.

The Court of Appeal did not rule on these last two arguments, since it concluded in any case that the drones were not covered by the sanctions.

It was used for entertainment

Defenders previously reported that the Yakunin drone was used as a hobby. They believe that sanctions should hurt Russian aviation financially, not individuals.

This is not important, says the Supreme Court: “The law gives the power to place prohibitions and restrictions on a number of activities, not just those that have an economic purpose.”

unclear motive

On October 19, it became known to the public that Yakunin had been arrested. On the same day, PST Assistant Director Hedvig Moe held a press conference. She said there could be several reasons why drones are flying in Norway.

– The only possibility is that you simply photographed Norwegian nature, and there is nothing more suspicious about it. Another hypothesis, Mo said, is that drones can be used to create fear and uncertainty, and then there’s also a hypothesis that drones are used to get information as part of espionage.

NRK did not receive a response to defenders’ inquiries on Friday evening.