Swedish Prosecutor Launches Proceedings Against Telia and Employees

By Dominic Chopping Features Dow Jones Newswires

Telia Company AB (TELIA.SK) said Friday that Swedish authorities will prosecute a number of former employees and bring legal proceedings against the telecom operator following the company's deal to settle bribery allegations.

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Telia agreed on Thursday to pay a total of $965 million in penalties and fines to U.S. and Dutch authorities to settle allegations that the company and a subsidiary paid about $331 million in bribes in Uzbekistan.

The total penalty amount also includes a $457 million disgorgement to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Stockholm-based company entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement in the U.S. charging the company with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars the use of bribes to foreign officials to get or keep business. The subsidiary pleaded guilty.

A year ago, U.S. and Dutch authorities had asked Telia to pay $1.4 billion to settle the allegations.

The Swedish state owns 37.3% of Telia and Friday's move by the Swedish Prosecution Authority sees charges filed against three former employees.

"The Swedish Prosecution Authority...has today decided to prosecute a number of former Telia employees," Telia said in a statement. "The authority has also decided to initiate legal proceedings against Telia Company for a disgorgement."

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The company added that it will continue to consider all possibilities to protect the rights and interests of the company.

Samuel Rubenfeld contributed to this article.

-Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com; Twitter: @domchopping @WSJNordics

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 22, 2017 05:37 ET (09:37 GMT)