Deutsche Telekom CEO Hasn't Been Incriminated in Probe, Prosecutors Say

The Bonn prosecutor’s office has so far found nothing incriminating against Deutsche Telekom AG’s Chief Executive Officer Rene Obermann in an investigation into alleged bribery in Hungary and Macedonia.

“The investigation continues, but we haven’t found any incriminating evidence against Obermann so far,” Friedrich Apostel, spokesman for the Bonn prosecutors, said in a telephone interview today. He declined to comment on a report by Rheinische Post that the probe will be closed soon.

The case, which is also being investigated by U.S. securities regulators and the U.S. Department of Justice, concerns Deutsche Telekom units in Hungary and Macedonia. The prosecutors are investigating whether bribes were used to prevent Macedonia from opening the nation’s telecommunications to competition and raided the private homes of Obermann and other people in late August.

There are claims Obermann told the CEO of the Makedonski Telekom unit he would only approve dividend payments if the nation’s telecom market remained closed, Manfred Balz, Deutsche Telekom’s management board member for legal affairs, told reporters in September.

Balz said at the time that the allegations against Obermann are false and that he expected the probe against him to be closed “swiftly.”

Obermann is one of eight suspects in the investigation. Deutsche Telekom spokesman Mark Nierwetberg declined to comment on the probe via phone today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ragnhild Kjetland in Frankfurt at rkjetland@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net

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