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CORRUPTION

Telia bosses in musical bribe probe

The chief executive of TeliaSonera, Anders Igel, is being threatened with prosecution for bribery by Swedish authorities after he invited 200 business leaders and civil servants to the Abba musical Mamma Mia in Stockholm.

Igel has been questioned by police about the April event along with Marie Ehrling, head of the company’s Swedish operations.

The event, which also included a buffet dinner, was reported by Swedish police chief Stefan Strömberg, who was himself a guest of TeliaSonera’s.

Strömberg contacted chief prosecutor Christer van der Kwast, who started an investigation.

The company insists that the event was just normal corporate hospitality, and that it has done nothing wrong.

The Finnish chairman of TeliaSonera told Dagens Nyheter that the investigation seemed “pretty unreal” from a Finnish perspective.

“This is the kind of thing that just about all companies do – taking care of customers,” said Tom von Weymarn.

“I can’t see any substance in the case.”

According to an expert at the Stockholm School of Economics, the event could be seen as a bribe if it had the “wow effect”.

Hans de Geer, a professor in company ethics, told news agency TT that in order for the event not to be seen as a bribe, it would have to be shown that it was used for developing a relationship with a client, and “not as a perk for work contacts.”

CORRUPTION

Barçagate: Police raid FC Barcelona offices and arrest former president

Police raided the offices of FC Barcelona on Monday, carrying out several arrests just six days ahead of the club's presidential elections, a Catalan regional police spokesman told AFP.

Barçagate: Police raid FC Barcelona offices and arrest former president
Barcelona's former president Josep Maria Bartomeu is among the arrested. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

Spain's Cadena Ser radio said one of those arrested was former club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned in October, along with CEO Oscar Grau and the club's head of legal services.

But the police refused to confirm names, saying only “arrests are taking place” and adding that the operation was being run by officers from the financial crimes unit.

“We are in the process of carrying out an operation right now with agents of the financial crimes unit,” the police spokesman told AFP.

According to reports in the Spanish media, the operation is linked to last year's investigation into the 'BarçaGate' scandal, which saw the club deny hiring a company to criticise current and former players on social media to improve the image of the then-president Bartomeu.

Cadena Ser said Barca paid €1 million in six separate invoices to the company I3 Ventures, with whom the club have since cut ties.

Bartomeu resigned in October, after mounting pressure following months of controversy and a dramatic decline in performances on the pitch.

His successor is due to be elected on Sunday, when club members will choose between the final three candidates, Joan Laporta, Toni Freixa and Victor Font.

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