The counter-intelligence service (PST) of Norway on Friday has disclosed what it said was the real identity of a Russian spy, who was posing as a Brazilian researcher.
The PST has named the suspect as Mikhail Mikushin, who was born as Russian in 1978, who they said had been passing himself off as a 37-year-old Brazilian named Jose Assis Giammaria.
As per one of the researchers at the investigative website Bellingcat, Mikushin is a senior Russian military intelligence officer.
Bellingcat researcher Christo Grozev took it to Twitter, adding that, “Great job, Norway, you’ve caught yourself a colonel from the GRU (Russia’s military intelligence agency).”
Images of the suspect were published in several Norwegian media. He denies the accusations against him, but an Oslo court on Friday remanded him in custody for four weeks, the first two in total isolation to prevent evidence from disappearing.
The suspect was first arrested on Monday morning as he was making his way to his job at Tromso university, in the northern region of Norway.
He was earlier placed under arrest for violation of immigration laws, with a view to deportation.
However, the investigation was swiftly extended to cover suspicions of “illegal espionage against state secrets of such a nature as to harm the fundamental interests of the nation,” punishable in Norway by up to three years in prison.