Norwegian Gets 20-Year Term as Soviet Spy
Arne Treholt, who held posts in the Foreign Ministry and other government departments, was sentenced today to a maximum 20 years in prison for spying for the Soviet Union and Iraq in Norway’s most serious espionage case.
An Oslo district court found Treholt guilty on virtually all 52 counts, including giving Moscow detailed plans for the nuclear and conventional defense of Norway against a possible Soviet invasion. Norway makes up NATO’s northern flank.
Presiding Judge Astri Rynning, head of a seven-member panel, ordered Treholt to pay the government $146,000--including money the Soviets and Iraqis paid him for spying.
Wearing a gray suit and bright purple tie, the one-time U.N. diplomat stood and listened impassively as Rynning read the verdict. He bowed his head and closed his eyes as the sentence was read.
Treholt, 42, admitted giving Moscow classified material gleaned from his work at the United Nations from 1979 to 1982, but denied he was a spy.
He was serving as head of the Foreign Ministry press section when he was arrested at Oslo airport Jan. 20, 1984, heading for Vienna to meet a KGB friend. Police said his briefcase was crammed with 66 classified documents.
Once described as a model diplomat, the handsome former Labor Party politician told the court he had used unconventional diplomatic methods in hopes of promoting East-West relations.
For reasons of national security, little evidence was presented in open court during the 11-week trial. For most of the 49 court workdays since the trial began, experts debated behind closed doors whether Treholt had compromised national security.
Treholt allegedly had 120 contacts in nine years with Soviet KGB intelligence officers and was charged with spying for the Soviet Union since 1974 and for Iraq since 1980.
Most charges dealt with classified defense material Treholt came across while attending Oslo’s prestigious National Defense College in 1982 and 1983.