The Supreme Court of Norway overturned the acquittal of Andrei Yakunin, the son of the former head of Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin. According to The Barents Observer, the case of the illegal launch of the drone will be sent for retrial.
The ruling of the Supreme Court states that other Russian citizens are also prohibited from operating drones in Norway in the future. Yakunin himself told The Barents Observer that he was involved in climbing Mount Quasspiggen in the north of Svalbard and, together with other members of the group, used a drone to scout out the best route. He stressed that he intends to seek acquittal again.
Adnrey Yakunin, who has a British passport in addition to his Russian one, was detained in Norway last October and charged with violating sanctions for repeatedly flying a drone over the island of Svalbard. According to the sanctions imposed by the Norwegian authorities against Russia, Russians are prohibited from flying aircraft in Norway.
In December, the Tromsø District Court acquitted Yakunin, stating that “small drones are not subject to sanctions rules.” This decision was confirmed by the Court of Appeal of the province of Holugaland. After that, the police appealed to the Supreme Court.
Andrey Yakunin is one of the founders of the British investment company Venture Investments & Yield Management, which was engaged in investments in the hotel business in Europe and Russia.