MOSCOW — A Russian court says a Norwegian man will stay in jail for months pending a probe on charges of espionage.

Frode Berg has been in custody since his December arrest in Moscow. A Moscow court on Friday extended his arrest through May.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has accused Berg of being part of a spy operation.

Russian news reports quoted Berg’s lawyer Ilya Novikov as saying that Berg has denied the charges. Novikov said the court rejected his petition to free Berg on bail and he would appeal the ruling.

Novikov said his client was the victim of a set-up.

“Berg came to Russia at the insistence of an individual he had trusted and who apparently worked for Norwegian intelligence. This person deliberately put Berg at risk by asking him to send a message which was intercepted by the FSB and which launched this case,” he was quoted as saying by the Tass news agency.

“My client admits that he had sent this message but did not understand its content,” he said.

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