Statements regarding the indictment for bribery against leading TeliaSonera officials
With reference to today’s decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Christer van der Kvast , to indict both TeliaSonera’s President and CEO, Anders Igel and the President of TeliaSonera Sweden, Marie Ehrling, for bribery in connection with an invitation to a customer gathering, the Chairman of TeliaSonera, Tom von Weymarn, would like to make the following statement:
“Customer events of the nature described in this action are a normal occurrence in any market and with this in mind I am amazed that the Director of Public Prosecutions has not decided to terminate his preliminary investigation. The Board and I have full confidence in Anders Igel and Marie Ehrling.”
Anders Igel and Marie Ehrling would like to make the following joint statement:
“It is surprising that the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided to go for an indictment in relation to the activity in question, an event which never even took place. Customer events of the type we had planned, where the attendees are also informed about the latest products and services, are a normal occurrence in Swedish business life. The objective is to strengthen the brand and further customer relations. This was the purpose for the invitation to the Mamma Mia performance. We consider that we acted in accordance with established practice.
It is unfortunate that in this area the law is so unclear that an indictment is necessary against private individuals to create some clarity in where the boundaries lie. We believe that it is a good idea to legally judge this issue so that we and other members of the Swedish business community know what is acceptable or not when applied to customer events. This is important not only for businesses in general but also for all those companies who work within the events industry, for example within sports, culture, hotel and restaurant trade.”
During the spring of 2005, TeliaSonera invited a number of customers to an event comprising information and demonstration of the latest products and services and a performance of the musical Mamma Mia at the Circus theatre in Stockholm. The event was cancelled when the investigation into alleged bribery began.