Controversial Swedish spy dies at 79

A convicted Cold War spy from Sweden who has always protested his innocence has died at the age of 79. Bertil Stroberg was a member of the Swedish Air Force and was convicted of working as a spy for Poland amid the latter part of the Cold War.

Last week, his wife, Marianne Stroberg, revealed to media that her husband, who had consistently denied the charges for which he was convicted, had died on 25 March after a nearly year-long struggle with cancer.

Stroberg had been found guilty of the crime in 1983 and sentenced six years’ jail time, but was released three years later after making parole. The guilty verdict came despite handwriting experts saying they were unable to link the key piece of evidence in Stroberg’s case – a letter offering secrets for sale to the Polish Military – to the defendant.

In 2009, Stroberg requested a new trial after a television documentary focused on the details of his case and concluded that he was part of a large conspiracy. However, the request was denied by a top court two years later.

Marianne Stroberg said to reporters last week that the denial of the retrial request was very difficult on her husband.

“It was as if he lost all his powers then. He took it very, very hard. He was a man who worked hard and always did the right thing in life,” Mrs Stroberg told the US News and World Report. “He never even got a parking ticket,” she added.