Sweden’s TeliaSonera has appointed lawyers to investigate allegations of wrongdoing relating to its purchase of operating licences in Uzbekistan in 2007, reports Reuters. The telco, which is part-owned by the Swedish state, was accused of corruption after the company from which it purchased its licences was found to have close ties to Gulnora Karimova, the daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. Swedish PM Fredrik Reinfeldt criticised TeliaSonera, saying that companies operating in countries like Uzbekistan – which is infamous for its human rights abuses – should maintain strict ethical codes and should be careful where there is lack of transparency, but stopped short of suggesting that firms should avoid such states adding that ‘trade and business are a way to open countries that are very closed.’
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