A leading West German counterintelligence agent accused of spying for East Germany has turned himself in, prompting the arrests of eight more people in an ever-widening espionage scandal.

Officials said Wednesday that the KGB had offered the agent, Klaus Kuron, asylum in the Soviet Union at the last minute but that Kuron declined.The 54-year-old Kuron, who surrendered over the weekend, is believed to have supplied large amounts of information about West Germany's spy-fighting efforts to East Germany over the past eight years.