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Deutsche Telekom CEO Obermann Escapes Charges in Bribery Probe

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Telekom AG Chief Executive Officer Rene Obermann escaped charges by German prosecutors over bribery allegations at company units in Hungary and the Republic of Macedonia.

The investigation of Obermann and two other suspects was closed because it turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, Friedrich Apostel, the spokesman for Bonn prosecutors, said in an e-mailed statement today. A probe into a further five suspects will continue, he said.

The case centers on alleged bribery payments at central and eastern European units of Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s biggest phone company. Bonn prosecutors opened their own investigation after they were asked by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for assistance in its probe into the matter. Obermann’s home was searched Aug. 31.

Deutsche Telekom has said that an independent investigation initiated by Hungarian unit Magyar Telekom’s audit committee revealed that sham contracts, worth about 32 million euros ($43 million), may have been used by Montenegrin and Macedonian units in 2005.

To contact the reporter on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.

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