A RUSSIAN court has found a Norwegian man guilty of espionage and sentenced him to 14 years in a high-security prison.

Retired Norwegian border inspector Frode Berg was arrested in Moscow in December 2017. He was accused of collecting information about Russian nuclear submarines for Norwegian intelligence.

Prosecutors asserted that Berg was caught with documents he had received from an employee of a military facility who was shadowed by Russian intelligence.

He denies the charges and Berg’s lawyer, Ilya Novikov, has called him a victim of a set-up.

He said that he and his client

“do not see any point in” appealing the verdict but instead would submit a plea for a presidential pardon.

AROUND 193 million Indonesians are eligible to vote in a presidential election that will decide who leads a nation which is an outpost of democracy in a region of authoritarian governments.

Their choice tomorrow is between five more years of the steady progress achieved under Indonesia’s first president from outside the Jakarta elite, or electing a charismatic but volatile figure from the era of the Suharto military dictatorship that ended two decades ago.

In the final moves of the campaign, the front-runner, President Joko Widodo, dashed to Saudi Arabia to meet its king and perform a minor pilgrimage, after a campaign in which conservative opponents tried to discredit him as insufficiently Islamic. His opponent is Prabowo Subianto, a former special forces general.

ELSEWHERE, a former governor of Massachusetts has become the first Republican to challenge President Donald Trump for the 2020 nomination for US president.

William Weld, 73, said “it is time to return to the principles of Lincoln – equality, dignity and opportunity for all”.

The move by Weld makes Trump the first incumbent president since George HW Bush in 1992 to face a notable primary challenge. Trump’s campaign has taken extraordinary steps in cementing control over the RNC and the nomination process.

FINALLY, a Bahraini court has issued verdicts in a mass trial, sentencing 69 people to life in prison and revoking the citizenship of 138 defendants on terrorism-related charges.

The public prosecutor’s office said that 70 others were sentenced to between three and 10 years imprisonment. The defendants, of which 109 are in custody and 60 were tried in absentia, can appeal.

Charges against the group, labelled “Hezbollah Bahrain”, include forming a terrorist cell inside Bahrain with help from Iran and launching terrorist attacks.