Norway gives Russian name to individual accused of espionage

COPENHAGEN (HPD) — A prosecutor with Norway’s internal security agency on Friday gave a Russian name to a man who entered the country as a Brazilian and is suspected of spying on state secrets for Russia.

Thomas Blom of the Security Service said the individual’s name is Mikhail Mikushin, adding that authorities are “not entirely sure of his identity, but we are sure he is not Brazilian.”

The man was arrested Monday in the Arctic city of Tromsoe, where he worked at the Arctic University of Norway. The Norwegian press has said that the man identified himself as José Assis Giammaria. Norwegian authorities said he is 44 years old, having been born in Russia in 1978.

Blom told a news conference that the suspect faces a “temporary” espionage charge and that charge could change as the investigation is just beginning. If convicted of violating Norway’s espionage laws, the individual faces up to three years in prison. Initially, he was arrested with the intention of expelling him from the country.

“There is an imminent danger of evidence tampering,” Blom said, explaining why the man was detained for four weeks.

On Friday, his lawyer in Oslo, Marijana Lozic, told the Norwegian news agency NTB that his client denies the accusations.

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