By Gwladys Fouche
OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian police have begun questioning a former commander of Russia's Wagner mercenary group who recently fled to Norway about his time in Ukraine, police said on Tuesday.
Andrei Medvedev, who fled from Russia by crossing the Russian-Norwegian border, has said he fears for his life after witnessing what he said was the killing and mistreatment of Russian prisoners brought to the front lines in Ukraine to fight for Wagner.
Kripos, Norway's national criminal police service, which has responsibility for investigating war crimes, has begun questioning him about his experiences in Ukraine.
"Kripos can confirm that Andrei Medvedev has been questioned," it said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
"We do not want to go into what he has explained in these interviews, but specify that he still has the status of a witness."
Medvedev's Norwegian lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, was not immediately available for comment.
Kripos is part of the international effort to investigate war crimes in Ukraine conducted by the International Criminal Court.
"He has previously said that he was part of the Wagner group, and it is interesting for Kripos to get more information about this period," Kripos added, declining to give further details.
On Monday, Medvedev was detained by immigration police due to "disagreement" about measures taken to ensure his safety.
(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche in Oslo; Editing by Robert Birsel)