STOCKHOLM, April 4 Swedish prosecutors have
identified a third suspect in their investigation into possible
corruption related to telecoms firm TeliaSonera's
purchase of an Uzbekistan 3G license, a company spokesman said
Telia's acting CEO, Per-Arne Blomquist, told Swedish news
agency TT that prosecutors are now investigating three people in
the case, which is a preliminary investigation into possible
bribery and money laundering in connection with the 2007 deal.
Telia has said the allegations are unfounded.
A Telia spokesman confirmed Blomquist's remarks and said the
third suspect no longer worked at the company.
"I can confirm it is a former employee," Salomon Bekele told
Reuters. The other two continue to work at TeliaSonera.
Prosecutor Gunnar Stetler declined to comment.
The prosecutors are looking into allegations Telia paid 2.3
billion Swedish crowns for its 3G licence to Takilant Ltd, a
Gibraltar-listed company, when it knew it was a front for
Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbek president Islam Karimov.
A Swedish court has agreed to freeze assets belonging to
A report by a law firm Telia hired to investigate did not
uncover any evidence of bribery or money laundering, but said a
lack of due diligence made it difficult to rule out corruption
somewhere along the line, prompting the company's previous chief
executive to resign.
A push into emerging markets has been the main profit driver
for TeliaSonera, whose reputation is sensitive because the
Swedish state is 37 percent shareholder and Finland owns almost
($1 = 6.5162 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)