Prosecutors Probe TeliaSonera Ex-CEO over Uzbek Telecom Corruption Claims
Prosecutors suspect Swedish telecoms firm TeliaSonera's former CEO Lars Nyberg of abetting bribery, Swedish Television’s investigative program Uppdrag Granskning (“Mission: Investigation”) reports.
The businessman writes in a text message that "I have been given notice of suspicion of abetting bribery, over a year ago," the TV show reported on its website.
The allegations are linked to investigations into TeliaSonera's allegedly corrupt business deals in Uzbekistan (story by TT/OCCRP here) in which Nyberg was named a suspect.
“Lars Nyberg has been questioned in the investigation,” confirmed prosecutor Gunnar Stetler to the Swedish News Agency (TT), but he would not comment more specifically.
Despite Nyberg having long been suspected and questioned, the details were not publically known until now. He could face prison if convicted.
Nyberg has not commented on the accusations, but TT claims knowledge that he has denied them.
Nyberg, now 63, was CEO of Telia from 2007 to 2013.
A criminal investigation was launched following the revelation in September 2012 by Uppdrag Granskning that Telia may have paid 2.3 billion Swedish kronor (US$ 279 million) to Uzbekistan’s authoritarian president Islam Karimov's daughter, Gulnara Karimova, in exchange for telecoms licenses.
Another former senior manager is also now suspected in connection with the case, according to Uppdrag Granskning. That would mean that at least five former Telia managers have now been linked to corruption in the probe.
All of them face prison sentences of six months to six years for any single crime related to bribery in the case.
By Ola Westerberg, Swedish News Agency (TT)