COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A former high-ranking member of the Russian personal navy contractor Wagner Group searching for asylum in Norway is in police custody on suspicion of getting into the Scandinavian nation illegally, authorities stated Monday.
Russian Andrey Medvedev “has been arrested beneath the Immigration Act and it’s being assessed whether or not he ought to be produced for detention,” Jon Andreas Johansen of Norwegian immigration police instructed The Related Press. Norway’s VG newspaper stated detaining him is not a punishment, however a safety measure.
His Norwegian lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, was not instantly obtainable for remark.
Medvedev, who says he fears for his life, is believed to have illegally entered Norway after crossing the nation’s 198 kilometer-long (123-mile) border with Russia earlier this month.
In a video posted by the Russian dissident group Gulagu.web, Medvedev stated he got here beneath Russian gunfire earlier than crossing into the Scandinavian nation. Norwegian police stated they have been notified by Russian border guards about tracks within the snow indicating that somebody could have crossed the border illegally.
Norway’s Nationwide Prison Investigation Service, which takes half within the investigation of conflict crimes in Ukraine stated it is questioning Medvedev who “has the standing of a witness.”
Medvedev, who has been on the run since he defected from the Wagner Group, has reportedly instructed Gulagu.web that he’s prepared to inform the whole lot he is aware of concerning the shady paramilitary group and its proprietor Yevgeny Prigozhin, a millionaire with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Medvedev stated he left the Wagner Group after his contract was prolonged past the July-November timeline with out his consent. He stated he is prepared to testify about any conflict crimes he witnessed and denied taking part in any.
The Wagner Group, which has spearheaded assaults towards Ukrainian forces, contains numerous convicts recruited from Russian prisons. The group has has change into more and more influential in Africa.