Swedish prosecutors want to know how Swedish television obtained the materials, which it used against Telia-Sonera in Uzbekistan
Friday, 07 June 2013
Talking about biting the figure that feed you, the Swedish national
state own television, Swedish television (Svt) seems to have made its
master angry when it exposed critical questionable ethical
behaviour about one of Sweden state owned power companies, Telia Sonera.
The prosecutors in the ongoing corruption investigation against
TeliaSonera in Stockholm district court requested that SVT be forced to
provide original documents from the Uzbek dictator's daughter Gulnara
Karimova, which would prove that she has collided with Telia Sonera in
bribery and corruption allegation.
Swedish television in its journalistic investigative program, revealed
that Telia - Sonera presided over a bribery and corrupt processes in
obtaining access to run a telecoms business in the Uzbekistan, a
country that practises intense human rights abuses and has been classed
as extremely corrupt. It also meant that a Swedish state owned company
was behaving unethically in a country that was vulnerable and which was
against the Swedish code of prices for its companies operating abroad.
The government does not seem to have been happy about this and to keep
its soft, the state prosecutors are asking the television station to
disclose the sources of their reports, which might means that such
sources or whistle blowers are exposed to danger.
SVT had rejected the district court's demand, citing the freedom
of speech and freedom of information but if the court decides on a
'subpoena, SVT says it will be obliged to disclose the documents
to the prosecutors.
"For our editorial protection of sources it is extremely important.
Would SVT be forced after a district court's decision to disclose the
sources of our documents in this case, it would be risky to the
source," says Nils Hanson, publisher of the investigative program.
But SVT CEO, Eva Hamilton, says that it is an unfortunate way the prosecutor choose to pursue the case.
"We have a policy to never to disclose this type of material. People
should feel confident that we would always protect whistleblowers. It
is therefore unfortunate that the prosecutor chose to go this way, but
if the district court decides that we need to disclose the material we
will the follow Swedish law," says CEO Eva Hamilton.
According to Swedish television, the reason why the prosecutor, Berndt
Berger is taking the unusual step of using the courts to force the
media companies to disclose material from a confidential source is
according to them: "it is of great importance for the
investigation of the original documents which can be examined for
fingerprints, and for writing sample analysis. We have reasons to
believe that there should be a hand-writing, and any fingerprints from
one of the persons against whom the investigation has been instituted."
It looks like the prosecutors might not believe that Telia might have
been involved in the corruption and bribery process as SVT
reported or that there might be pressure from some sources to force
Telia to be cleared of any wrong doing. We are still watching the
events so watch this space.
By Scancomark.com Team
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