Copenhagen, Denmark — Arne Treholt, the former Norwegian Foreign Ministry official who was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union in what became Norway’s biggest Cold War spy scandal, has died, it has been announced authorities on Monday. He was 80 years old.
In 1985, Treholt was sentenced to 20 years for giving Norwegian and NATO defense plans and sensitive political information to his Soviet handlers over a nine-year period. He was also found guilty of committing less serious intelligence breaches for Iraq.
Treholt, who claimed he worked as a “business consultant”, confessed to meeting and taking money from people working for the KGB. However, he denied being a spy in several books he later wrote and made several unsuccessful offers to have a new trial in Norway.
He was pardoned in 1992 for health reasons and left Norway to live in Cyprus and Moscow.
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry confirmed it was aware of his death but provided no further details. Aftenposten, one of Norway’s largest daily newspapers, wrote on Sunday that Treholt died after a brief illness in Moscow. Aftenposten also said he was survived by a son and two grandchildren.