November 12, 2012

Mannheimer Swartling informs about TeliaSonera assignment

In early October, Mannheimer Swartling Advokatbyrå and Biörn Riese were appointed to conduct a review of TeliaSonera’s highly publicised investment in Uzbekistan.

The assignment had been preceded by speculation and designations in the media that the business transactions may have been conducted in a questionable manner.

As the assignment has generated considerable media attention, Biörn Riese will report regularly on the review process on Mannheimer Swartling’s website.

“The purpose is to update on how far we have come in our work. Furthermore, this can also make it easier for people who consider themselves to have information about the transactions to contact us,” says Biörn Riese.


Update from 13 November 2012

The puzzle begins to take shape

TeliaSonera has assigned Mannheimer Swartling to investigate under my leadership whether TeliaSonera’s investment in a 3G-license, frequencies and number series in Uzbekistan in 2007 involved any form of corruption or money laundering. The assignment also includes all subsequent transactions between TeliaSonera and the local partner Takilant.

Persons involved
Within the firm, I am working with four colleagues in what constitutes our core group. This group is composed of specialists in, among others, corporate governance and CSR.
We are also drawing on the specialist expertise of additional colleagues to address specific issues.

The process thus far can be divided into three areas:

  • Collection of information and facts; of which approximately 70% has been completed.
  • Analysis; of which approximately 20% has been completed.
  • Writing the report; of which approximately 30% has been completed.
    Until now, our work is proceeding according to plan. We have received the designated contracts and other relevant documents from TeliaSonera. We have also received valuable assistance regarding the contacts we requested.

We have now reviewed most of the documents we have received. We have interviewed nearly all of the board members who were serving in 2007. We have also interviewed other individuals of interest such as employees and external lawyers who have been involved. Some significant people remain to be interviewed.

Gunnar Stetler, the Director of Public Prosecution conducting a separate review of TeliaSonera and the designated investment, has expressed in the media that he wants to co-operate. However, we have not yet been contacted.

Yesterday, I briefed TeliaSonera’s board on the progress of our work. To ensure there is no misunderstanding, I should like to be clear that all that was discussed is our work process. The conclusions of our investigation will only be provided in the final report.

I have previously said that we intend for our work to be completed well before the end of the year. Critical to this timeline is our having contact with people and government agencies not located in Sweden and whom we want to get in contact with.

The possibility of establishing these contacts is what ultimately will determine whether we will be able to complete our investigation before the end of the year.