Arne Treholt, 80, Dies; Norwegian Diplomat Convicted of Spying for Soviets

by -43 Views

Arne Treholt was born on Dec. 13, 1942, in Brandbu, about 50 miles north of Oslo. His father, Thorstein, was a politician who served as agriculture minister when Arne was young, and his mother, Olga Lyngstad, was a homemaker.

Mr. Treholt studied politics and economics at Oslo University and, after graduation, worked as a journalist for Arbeiderbladet, the official newspaper of the liberal Norwegian Labor Party. He also became active in pro-democracy efforts in Greece, where a right-wing coup had established a military dictatorship in 1967.

It was through that activism that he met Mr. Evensen — as well as his first contacts in the K.G.B.

Mr. Evensen hired him as his secretary. Mr. Treholt later served in the Bureau of Maritime Affairs, the Norwegian delegation to the United Nations in New York and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Treholt’s first two marriages, to Brit Sjorbotten and Ms. Storaekre, ended in divorce. While in prison he married Renee Steele, a fellow inmate less than half his age. Dying of AIDS, she received compassionate release in 1992 and died a few months later. He was allowed to leave prison to attend her funeral, and he was pardoned shortly after.

Mr. Treholt is survived by his son, Torstein Storaekre, and two grandchildren.

Norwegian authorities began to suspect Mr. Treholt in the early 1980s, thanks in part to tips from Soviet defectors. The F.B.I. trailed him in New York, and his Oslo apartment was inspected twice, both times revealing large piles of cash, which authorities left in place in order not to alert him to their investigation.

Mr. Treholt was the author of three memoirs, the first of which, “Alene” (“Alone”), he wrote in prison and smuggled out to a publisher. It appeared in 1985, sold well and even won a minor literary prize. He also translated Isaac Asimov’s science fiction novel “Foundation” from English into Norwegian.


No More Posts Available.

No more pages to load.