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Russia Demands 14-Year Sentence For Norwegian Accused Of Spying

Frode Berg attends a court hearing in Moscow on January 30.

Russian prosecutors have demanded a 14-year prison sentence for a Norwegian citizen accused by Moscow of spying on its nuclear submarines.

Prosecutor Milana Digayeva on April 9 demanded that Frode Berg serve the sentence in a penal colony, according to Russia's Interfax news agency.

Digayeva said the verdict in the espionage case was expected on April 16.

The case is being heard behind closed doors at the Moscow City Court for secrecy reasons.

Berg, 63, has pleaded not guilty.

Russian authorities have said Berg was arrested in December 2017.

Digayeva said that the accused was caught red-handed with the documents he had received from an employee of a military facility, Aleksei Zhitnyuk, who was shadowed by Russian intelligence.

Zhitnyuk was found guilty of high treason in December and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Norwegian media reports say that Berg is a former border inspector, and that the Norwegian Foreign Ministry was working to provide him with assistance.

Berg's lawyers have said that he admitted being a courier for Norway's military intelligence, but that he had little knowledge of the operation he took part in.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax