The district court in Tromso, Norway, acquitted Andrey Yakunin, the son of the former head of Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin. This is reported by the Norwegian edition of NRK.
Yakunin, who has Russian and British citizenship, was accused of flying a drone in Norway, which is prohibited to Russian citizens due to sanctions. In court, he said that he was not aware of the ban and considered himself mostly associated with the UK, not Russia. The prosecution wanted 120 days in custody for him.
“The Court considers that EU sanctions against aviation are intended to affect general aviation with manned aircraft. This also applies to unmanned aerial vehicles, which must be registered and subject to other air traffic regulations. Small drones, as in this case, are not subject to the sanctions rules, ”the court writes in the ruling.
Prosecutor Christine Roehne told NRK that the decision would be appealed to the district court: “If the district court's decision becomes final, that would mean that the other four court orders are set aside. That's why it's important to get legal clarification on this matter."
Yakunin Jr. was arrested on October 17 in Hammerfest and taken into custody for two weeks. On October 27, he was released, as the court agreed with the defense that there was no criminal offense in Yakunin's actions.