OSLO: A Russian man suspected of spying at the Norwegian parliament was released from prison on Friday after Norway’s intelligence service withdrew an appeal against the decision, reports AFP.
Mikhail Bochkarev, 51, was arrested on September 21 at Oslo airport after attending a seminar in Norway’s parliament, accused of having collected data on the building and its network.Television footage showed Bochkarev leave Oslo prison on Friday in a car from the Russian embassy.
His release came after a Norwegian judge ruled on Thursday that investigators had failed to substantiate their case.
The PST intelligence service initially appealed the decision but on Friday the agency made a U-turn.
“The PST has decided to withdraw its appeal... He is released today,” the agency tweeted without an explanation. Russia had denounced the charges against Bochkarev as “false” and “absurd”.
He remains under investigation but is free to leave the country, the PST said.