Ex-Wagner Group member faces Norway court for bar brawl

Former member of the Russian private military contractor Wagner Group Andrey Medvedev, right, listens to his lawyer Brynjulf Risnes during a court hearing in Oslo, Tuesday, April 25, 2023. Medvedev, who is seeking asylum in Norway, was Tuesday facing a Norwegian court for a bar brawl earlier this year. Medvedev has confessed to most of the charges for events in February and March but denies violence against police officers who handcuffed him outside an Oslo pub, the Norwegian news agency NTB said. (Gorm Kallestad/NTB Scanpix via AP)

Former member of the Russian private military contractor Wagner Group Andrey Medvedev, right, listens to his lawyer Brynjulf Risnes during a court hearing in Oslo, Tuesday, April 25, 2023. Medvedev, who is seeking asylum in Norway, was Tuesday facing a Norwegian court for a bar brawl earlier this year. Medvedev has confessed to most of the charges for events in February and March but denies violence against police officers who handcuffed him outside an Oslo pub, the Norwegian news agency NTB said. (Gorm Kallestad/NTB Scanpix via AP)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A former member of the Russian private military contractor Wagner Group who’s seeking asylum in Norway has admitted charges of resisting arrest after a bar brawl and carrying an air gun.

Andrey Medvedev appeared in court in Oslo on Tuesday. He denied using violence against police officers who handcuffed him outside an Oslo pub in February, the Norwegian news agency NTB reported.

“He didn’t quite understand what was going on and panicked,” his defense lawyer Brynjulf Risnes told NTB. “He believes that he did not kick, but that he spat because it hurt” when he was put in handcuffs.

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

He would probably get a short sentence, prosecutor Vegard Gjertsen told NTB. It was not clear when the sentence would be pronounced.

Medvedev who has said that he fears for his life if he returns to Russia, fled to Norway earlier this year, crossing illegally over its 198-kilometer (123-mile) -long border with Russia.

Medvedev said he originally signed up 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 war crimes he witnessed and denied participating in any himself.

Earlier, he reportedly told Russian dissident group Gulagu.net that he was ready to tell everything he knew about the shady private military company and its owner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a millionaire with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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