Asylum-seeking former Wagner fighter sentenced in Norway

Andrey Medvedev, who fled from Russia last year, is handed a two-week suspended sentence for disorderly conduct and carrying an air gun.

The supposed Wagner defector Andrei Medvedev and his defender Brynjulf Risnes talk in the Oslo district court, as Medvedev is accused of having participated in a fight outside a pub in the center of Oslo and of violence against the police, April 25, 2023, in Oslo, Norway. NTB/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NORWAY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN NORWAY. REFILE - CORRECTING CITY
Wagner defector Andrey Medvedev and his lawyer Brynjulf Risnes talk in the Oslo district court in Norway [NTB/via Reuters]

A court in Norway has sentenced a former contractor of the Wagner Group, the private Russian military company known for brutal tactics, to 14 days in jail for disorderly conduct and for carrying an air gun in a public place.

The Oslo court acquitted Andrey Medvedev, who is seeking asylum in Norway, of committing violence against police officers during his arrest, according to his lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes.

Officers detained Medvedev outside a pub in the Norwegian capital following a February bar brawl.

He admitted resisting arrest and spitting when he was put in handcuffs but denied kicking the officers, the lawyer said after his client appeared in court Tuesday.

“It is very good that he was acquitted for what was the most serious [allegation],” Risnes told the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet following Thursday’s verdict.

Medvedev also pleaded guilty to carrying an air gun when he went to a pub in downtown Oslo in March.

He fled to Norway earlier this year, crossing over the country’s 198-kilometre (123-mile) border with Russia, and has said he would fear for his life if he were sent back.

Medvedev said he agreed to join the Wagner Group from July to November 2022 but left after his contract was extended without his consent.

He said he was willing to testify about any possible war crimes he witnessed, though he denied participating in any himself.

Earlier, he reportedly told Russian dissident group that he was ready to tell everything he knew about the Wagner Group and its owner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a millionaire with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Soldiers working for the shady private contractor are fighting on the front lines in Ukraine and also have fought in Mali.

Source: AP