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Three former Telia executives charged in Sweden

Swedish prosecutors charged three former executives of Telia Company AB Friday with bribery in Uzbekistan, including a former CEO.

Stockholm-based Telia agreed with the DOJ and SEC Thursday to pay total penalties of $965 million to resolve FCPA violations.

Some of the penalties ordered by the DOJ and SEC will be paid to prosecutors in Sweden and the Netherlands in connection with enforcement proceedings in those countries.

Charged Friday in Sweden were former CEO Lars Nyberg, the company’s former deputy CEO and head of Eurasia Tero Kivisaari, and a third individual who hasn’t been publicly named, according to a report by the Local, an online news publication based in Sweden.

They were reportedly charged with “serious bribery offenses.”

All three deny the charges, the report said.

The DOJ said in court filings Thursday that Telia, Coscom (its Uzbek subsidiary), and “a high-ranking Telia executive” conspired to pay an Uzbek government official $331.2 million in bribes in exchange for help expanding their share of Uzbekistan’s telecommunications market.

Earlier Friday, Telia released a statement that said “the Swedish Prosecution Authority has today decided to prosecute a number of former Telia employees. The authority has also decided to initiate legal proceedings against Telia Company for a disgorgement.”

“This amount [for the Sweden disgorgement] is already included in the global settlement that Telia Company has reached with U.S. and Dutch authorities, as previously disclosed,” the statement said.

Prosecutor Gunnar Stetler announced the charges at a press conference in Stockholm on Friday afternoon.
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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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