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Telia corruption investigation

Prosecutor demands whistleblower documents

Published fredag 7 juni 2013 kl 10.30
"I have no reason whatsoever to comment."
(2:30 min)
Documents with notes allegedly written by Gulnara Karimova. (Photo: Swedish Television)

Prosecutors in the ongoing corruption investigation into telecoms company Telia Sonera have demanded that Swedish Television hand over documents believed to contain notes taken by Gulnara Karimova, daughter of the Uzbek dictator.

The prosecutor, Berndt Berger, has submitted a written application to the Stockholm District Court demanding the original documents be handed over after a Swedish Television documentary revealed their alleged contents.

Berger's application, seen by news agency TT, states that the documents are of great importance to the corruption investigation as they may contain finger prints. The prosecutor also wants a handwriting expert to examine the documents in order to determine whether they were written by "one of the persons who is subject to a preliminary investigation".

This person, suspected to be Karimova, has not yet been appointed a defense lawyer.

Handwriting experts consulted in the documentary claimed the handwritten notes were likely taken by Karimova.

The documents, obtained by Swedish Television from an unnamed source, refer to a "high-powered meeting" in late August 2012 when former Telia CEO Lars Nyberg also visited Uzbekistan.

There are also claims in the documents that Telia asked for protections from Uzbek authorities and details of discussions about Telia potentially sponsoring an event led by Karimova's charity Fund Forum, which TT previously reported has enriched Karimova at the expense of impoverished Uzbeks.

At least three current or previous Telia managers have been suspected of bribery in relation to the telecoms company's dealings in Uzbekistan, but Lars Nyberg is currently not thought to be one of them. It is also known that three representatives of Telia's partner Talikant are suspected of bribery and money laundering.

Karimova is not among those three representatives, though she is believed to be the person behind Talikant, a company that owns six percent of Telia's operator in Uzbekistan and has earned over 2 billion SEK from the Telia's deals in the country.

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